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Headband - 'Kazura' Obi, Japanese Noh Theatre, 1990 Object Reg. No: HT 14232

Summary:
'Kazura' obi silk headband, designed by Akira Yamaguchi, 1990 and made from silk from silkworms bred on organic mulberry leaves. It was worn by Masumi Hiraga Jackson from 1990 onwards for Noh theatre performance and brought back from Japan to Australia. Noh is an important form of classical musical drama performed in Japan since the 14th century. The principal actor, and sometimes minor actors wear masks. All performers, including the chorus singers and musicians, carry fans. Masumi Hiraga studied Noh Theatre at Toyo University in the 1950s and continues to learn and practise the art at the Hosho School of Noh in Japan. She performs in Japan and Australia.

Masumi Hiraga Jackson was born in Nirasaki, Japan in 1935, one of ten children. Her mother Kino was a skilled weaver who wove and sewed silk kimono, a highly regarded skill. Masumi studied at universities in Tokyo (Japanese cultural studies) and Canberra (English and linguistics) and in 1984 married an Australian. She immigrated to Melbourne in 1985 but sadly her husband died two years later. Masumi decided to remain in Australia and immersed herself in traditional Japanese cultural practices such as Noh theatre, Ikebana and Shimotske paper doll-making. She performs and instructs these art forms in Australia and overseas, and returns to Japan every year to see her family, undertake Ikebana lessons, practise her Noh performance and to purchase materials for doll-making.
Description:
Orange silk headband Obi comprised of a rectangular length of orange and gold silk with a coloured floral pattern on either end, and an orange and gold floral pattern in centre area of fabric. Worn with purple kimono by the donor.
Statement Of Significance:
The significance of this item is its place within a collection which represents the personal and cultural value of maintaining cultural and artistic traditions within a new environment. The act of migration has profound implications for both immigrant and receiving country, with many migrants actively finding ways to introduce their cultural practices in an environment unfamiliar with such activities. This collection can help to explore the successful shift in Australian government policies from the cultural assimilation of the 1950s to the more broadly embracing multicultural policies from the 1970s. Moreover, its significance also lies in the intrinsic artistic value of the finely crafted Shimotsuke dolls, and the cultural heritage value of the collection of kimono.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Masumi Hiraga, 2007
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 3.5 cm (Width), 246.0 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: japanese communities, japanese culture, performances, theatre, theatrical performances
Themes this item is part of: Masumi Hiraga Jackson Collection, Cultural Diversity Collection, Masumi Hiraga Jackson, Japanese Migrant, 1985
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Creative Practice
Tertiary Classification: theatre
Designer: Mr Akira Yamaguchi, Japan, 1990
Past Owner or User: Mrs Masumi Hiraga, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1990-2007

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