Archive for Japanese traditions

Kimono exhibition

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2023 by xi'an

Taking advantage of the 01 May break and a relatively low density of people in Paris, we went to the Musée du Quai Branly to see a soon to close exhibit on kimonos, with many pieces loaned from Japanese collections, through an exhibit designed by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The collection is amazing, especially the most historical part, and illustrates the complex social codes behind this seemingly simple garnment, from a huge variety of materials and techniques, to the Edo era restrictions on whom could wear which type and which printing. And the subtle subversions from the merchant class (and actors, as for this 19th “I do not care” kimono that reminded me of a much more recent outcry!). Highly enjoyable (if slightly crowded!).

a memory called Empire [book review]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2020 by xi'an

A pleasant read for a few afternoon breaks (and vitamin D intake), that I chose as it was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards as well as a Not the Booker Prize Guardian choice. But not really worth the hype I think as the novel, A Memory Called Empire, is quite unidimensional (which is unfortunate for a space opera). In that the few characters that populate the book manage to move by themselves the political structure of the interstellar universe quite substantially. Within a few days. These characters are definitely attractive but somewhat too nice to be true and the way they bond and connect with one another is just implausible, even for a science fiction novel

“…no algorithm is innocent of its designersAn algorithm is only as perfect as the person designing it.”

The most interesting part in the story, although somewhat stretched too thin, is the conflict the central character feels between her attraction to the highly sophisticated culture of the Empire and the feeling that she will never be fully incorporated within that culture. Despite mastering the language and the societal codes well-enough to reach the upper spheres of society and impact them.

“…the real inspiration for the number-noun naming system comes from the naming practices of the Mixtec people of Oaxaca…” Arkady Martine

But, beside borrowing a lot to Japanese culture, and a wee bit to Maya or Aztec societies, the universe created by Arkady Martine is quite close to ours in its mundane aspects, including plastic spoons..! With very few truly novel technologies. But with email delivered on USB keys after travelling faster than light between star systems. The threat of an alien invasion is pending, by the end of the book, paving the way for an incoming second volume.To be read…

hanami [at home]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2020 by xi'an


Posted in pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on April 19, 2015 by xi'an


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