After taking the train to Watari-cho, we soon took a taxi to a museum where we learned about the origins of the city of Watari. First we saw samurai armor from the Edo period, including a replication of the armor that belonged to Date Shigezane, the founder of Watari and a relative of the famous Date Clan. Afterwards we saw old supplies used by farmers to not only make rice, which was their cash crop, but also silk. As we went through the exhibit, we also saw articles of clothing that were worn by farmers and religious ornaments that were made from rice plants. We also were able to see an old fire engine used by early firefighters of the Edo period, which seemed very advanced for its time, and a boat we learned how to sit in.
Then after we went through the exhibit, we went to visit the organization WATALIS, where we learned about how kimono fabric was put into different uses in the past as well as today in the process called the “up-cycle,” which is similar to the concept of recycling, and made cool hangers covered with kimono fabric.
Personally the thing that struck me the most about our visit in Watari was not only having fun while making cool hangers, but also learning about how the organization was going to create products for the Olympics in Japan for the year 2020. But even after that, the one thing that truly impacted me was the point where the head of the organization gave me a piece of kimono fabric and told me that I reminded her of her son. After hearing this, I really felt close to her and the company. I also enjoyed conversing with other employees within the organization and grew closer as we did. This was actually one of my favorite days, just because of how special it was.
Ellington School of the Arts