The History Of The Kimono

Akemi Tanaka

The Japanese word kimono (着物) translates to “thing to wear” (着 ki "wear" and 物 mono "thing") but this simple definition is eclipsed by the many different variations and styles that the kimono encompasses.

As a garment, the kimono employs many styles that can be enjoyed by both men and women - and can also be used for many different occasions. For instance, the yukata (浴衣) is a lighter style of kimono used in summer because it’s made of just one layer of fabric, ideal for the hot weather. The wearing of yukata typically takes place at traditional Japanese festivals, or matsuri (祭り), including fireworks festivals, known as hanabi (花火) as well as obon (お盆) - a festival to celebrate the spirits of the ancestors that takes place in August.

Akemi discusses the history of the kimono, from its early roots through to the present day, including the fusion of the kimono style in contemporary fashion.

The Art Of The Japanese Sword

Fudokan Battodo

John Evans 7th Dan and students of Fudokan Dojo London who train in Battodo - a Japanese sword fighting art - will demonstrate forms (kata) and test cutting techniques (tameshigiri).

The practice of the sword in Japan has long been used to develop health, coordination, concentration and equanimity. "Batto" refers to a quick drawing and striking with the sword. "Do" refers to a path of training that aims at full development of the individual. The Fudokan dojo follows the principles set out by Taisaburo Nakamura Sensei 10th Dan the chief instructor of Toyama Ryu and the founder of Nakamura Ryu. The teaching combines the four kinds of training necessary to develop complete swordsmanship.

Japanese Calligraphy

Taki Kodaira

Attendees will get an opportunity to have a brief one-on-one class in the art of Japanese Calligraphy (shodō) with brush and ink artist Taki Kodaira.

Originating from Nagano in Japan, Taki Kodaira is a Master of Fine Arts who studied at the China Academy of Art. A talented artist, she has an impressive history of demonstrating the art of shodō.

Also called shūji, shodō (which means means "way of writing") is a form of calligraphy, or artistic writing, of the Japanese language. For a long time, the most esteemed calligrapher in Japan had been Wang Xizhi, a Chinese calligrapher from the 4th century, but after the invention of Hiragana and Katakana, the Japanese unique syllabaries, the distinctive Japanese writing system developed and calligraphers produced styles intrinsic to Japan.

Now based in London, Taki has taken part in shodō lectures, exhibitions and performances to promote the beautiful brush strokes that make up this traditional Japanese art form. Taki will be available to demonstrate her skills throughout the Aid For Japan event.


To encompass the broad world of Japanese culture, we're encouraging some attendees to come along in cosplay for this event.

Cosplay (コスプレ, kosupure) is an interest which inspires people to wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture, and a broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role-playing. Favourite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, film and video games.

We will be giving cosplaying attendees the chance to show off their outfits on stage. Show off your most inventive and colourful ideas - you could also win a prize for your efforts!

Plus, we are offering free entry for the first 15 cosplayers who pre-register for the event. So be quick to sign up! You can register for cosplay entry by emailing us here: Please supply us with your name and also what you'll be cosplaying as.

Please make sure to check our cosplay guidelines as well.

Artwork & Prints


Talented artist Domin-IKA (who is also a Fudokan student) will be creating greeting cards for the event, as well as providing small original ink paintings for sale.

Domin-IKA generously supported Aid For Japan at the 2019 event. Profits from sales of the artwork will be donated to the charity.

Also on the day, attendees will be able to buy delicious Japanese Dorayaki snacks. There will also be information and flyers about Aid For Japan's charity work.