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Ruri Kippenbrock


Archive for the ‘kendo’ Category

Tenugui mumbling Vol.56 – Art of the Samurai

Friday, January 8th, 2010
Art of the Samurai - photo by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Art of the Samurai - photo by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art the other day. Sometimes I totally forget that I live in the center of the Art scene. How many times did I visit the Met since I moved to New York? … well… Oh, well…
I read an article about this exhibition which said that it took more than ten years to get together all the art pieces, and finally it’s ready to exhibit in New York this year. As soon as I knew about it, I wanted to go see the collections so badly!

The entrance of the Metropolitan Museum

The entrance of the Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan museum is like a HUGE maze. Oh, I should grab a hotdog at the stand in front of the museum. I asked three Met staff members, and finally found the Tisch Galleries where Art of the Samurai exhibition was held.

The armor for the boy samurai Honda Tadataka (1698-1709) - photo by the Met

The armor for the boy samurai Honda Tadataka (1698-1709) - photo by the Met

Starting with Haniwa (terracotta figurine), samurai kabuto (helmet) and Yoroi (armor), swords and sword mounting, robes and the other national important treasures that came from the Kofun era to Edo Period were gathered together. Many familiar samurai names are on the instruction board. My parents love to watch the Japanese historical TV series, and I used to watch the show when I was little. Oda Nobunaga, Asai Nagamasa, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, etc etc…. I can’t believe that these pieces REALLY belonged to them. The strong energy filled the hall, and I could hear the sounds of wind on the battle field, and felt many stories behind these samurai armors…. I was too excited and felt a dizziness.

Mt. Fuji motif - photo by the Met

Mt. Fuji motif - photo by the Met

As I went to next room,?I found the samurai style and materials had changed. It was very interesting to see the pieces had combined cultures, with influence from Western countries, and names like Nanban Gusoku, or Kawari Kabuto which means an exotic armor and helmet. One Jinbaori (surcoat) attracted my eye. It’s made with golden yellow and black wool, with a volcano motif on the back of the coat. It was very interesting to know that Mt. Fuji first came to be used as a motif on craft objects in the Edo Period. As I know, Tenugui culture also had spread ?widely in the Edo period also. The influence from Western cultures and the samurai Art…. evolve style to next century….

That is something I would like to do for my Tenugui…

… to be continued.

From: Ruri

Tenugui mumbling vol.17 – Sakura Sakura to John O’Connor – Japanese Design “Flower”

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008


Sakura and Memorial in Washington DC


Hiroe and Ayumi – my two lovely friends

We had held two Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Events in April.
The largest Japanese Street Festival in the U.S. “Sakura Matsuri” was held on April 12 (Sat) in Washington DC. From time to time it rained a moment, but over 140,000 people came and enjoyed the Japanese Omatsuri (Festival) Spirits with gracious cherry blossoms. Thank you to all visitors who came and let us show you our Tenugui Art. We are so glad to be there and to have a chance to introduce to you Tenugui at the site.

And most of all… Thank you Hiroe and Ayumi – two wonderful dear friends – who work with me showing the beauty of Tenugui to everybody. I am sure I could not have done this without y’all…

Definately, we will return to Washington D.C. for the Sakura Matsuri 2009 with new blooming Sakura next year!

my best friend Hiroe and me!

my best friend Hiroe and me!

Ruri and Hiroe with wuhao uniform!

Our second collaboration with Sakagura Restaurant (211 E 43rd Street, NY, NY) was held on April 21st (Mon). We displayed our Sakura Tenugui for their OHANAMI SAKE TASTING 2008. All customers surely enjoyed selected feasts and sake under blooming cherry blossoms, and also Sakura Tenugui!

Sake and Sakura Tenugui

Sake and Sakura Tenugui

Sake bottle with petal Tenugui

Sakagura sakura menu

Sakagura sakura menu

Ohanami Sake Tasting 2008 Menu

SAKURA – Japanese believe it symbolized it one’s ideal life. Live like Sakura and go like Sakura – means “Flourish Life”.
We got a Tenugui order and a letter from John in January 2008. This is very personal, but I would like to put his letter on my site to remember and honor his great spirit.
He was a brave fighter and had a big warming heart. I will always remember him and his beautiful soul.
John-san… he gave me a confidence to my new life and made me feel I am doing a right thing.
I miss him very much…

John O’Conner – deceased April 28, 2008

Hello Ruri,

I received my Tenugui order and your gift yesterday and must say that I could not be more pleased. I bought these as gifts for my friends and now I see that I will need more for myself.

I do have a use for then as I am a kendo player. Unfortunately it remains to be seen if I will continue to play as, like your husband, I have cancer. It has been three years now since I was first diagnosed and was in remission for awhile until recently. I now go through chemo again and like it even less than the first time.
Right now my goal is to stop the spread as there is of yet no cure but I feel that a breakthrough is imminent.

I recently was invited to play on the seniors team for the Eastern U.S. Kendo Federation at the U.S. National championships in July. If I am healthy enough to do it I will wear one of your Tenugui.

Keep up the good work and keep you spirits high.

With best regards,

John O’Connor

New composition is here from The Gordon School. Please enjoy her beautiful Tenugui art!

The Gordon School – composition #09 “Flower “-

“Flower”

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I chose to use these designs on my Tenugui because they reminded me of Japanese Garden. The pretty colors and shapes seem to reflect both American and Japanese cultures.

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Students artist wearing “Flower”

- to be continued…

From Ruri

mumbling date on May 06, 2008

Tenugui mumbling vol.15 – Kendo Spirit – Japanese Design “Providence Waterfire”

Friday, March 7th, 2008

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Kenshin-kai Keiko (Kendo practice) at Dojo in NY

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A moment of silence – concentration

I love to see Keiko (Kendo Practice) and feel Kendo Spirit through their practice. I visited at Kenshin-kai New York the other day. One of our customer is a member of Kenshinkai and brought me to their Keiko. It was cold rainy day in early February, though their Ki-ai (the act of concentration) made steam on the windows with their full of energy. Respect, honor, concentration, discipline to their bodies and minds, and the appreciation of the principles of the Katana through Kendo Spirit that purified my mind from the negative thought and sending me the beautiful positive energy. Thank you very much Kenshin-kai for having me there and sharing the beauty of Kendo Spirit. And thank you very much for everything John-san. It means me so much sharing this beautiful moment together.

Kenshin-kai has practice each Tuesday and Friday. Please visit their web site http://www.kenshin-kai.com for more detail about Kendo and Kenshin-kai.

And….

Thank you very much to Kenshi from all over the world for sending us letters and photos from England, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Japan and of course America! The letters and photos from each of you that are always bringing me warming smile and surely brighten my day… Doomo Arigato!!!

New composition is here from The Gordon School. Please enjoy his bold Tenugui art!

The Gordon School – composition #07 ? Providence Waterfire -

“Providence Waterfire”

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Waterfire is a unique event in Rhode Island’s capital city, Providence. Braziers that rise from the river’s water, burn brightly while mysterious music plays in the air. Barges gondolas and moon light makes for a beautiful art piece. Many people come to enjoy the evening of fire, smoke and food.

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Students artist wearing “Providence Waterfire”

- to be continued…

From Ruri

Mumbling date on March 07, 2008