The Japanese Culture Center, Japanese Arts Foundation, and Aikido International Foundation sponsor an annual public exhibition featuring pieces from its kimono collection. At its heart is the Nakashima Kimono and Obi Collection.
Professor Ikka (Seiko) Nakashima was the daughter of a successful Japanese industrialist prior to her marriage to an American Sergeant she met in post-war Japan in the occupied northern island of Hokkaido. After moving to the United States and gaining the American citizenship of which she was so proud, she set about teaching thousands of students over 50 years the arts of ikebana (flower arranging), chado (tea ceremony), shodo (calligraphy), Japanese classical dance and Japanese as a Second Language; all this in addition to her career as a microbiologist. In 2006, Professor Nakashima was invited by Emperor Akihito to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, for her tireless efforts to educate and spread traditional Japanese culture. She died in 2014 and her extensive collection of kimonos and obis along with tea ceremony implements, ikebana containers and other cultural items was donated to the Japanese Arts Foundation by her heir, Ameer Ali. Over the years, this core collection has been expanded and enhanced through private donations and has become one of the largest private kimono collections in the United States.
Entrance to the event is free but donations are welcomed. Part of the proceeds will help fund the Japanese Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading awareness of Japanese culture and arts throughout the Chicagoland area.
Charles Harris Sensei
Professor Charles Harris is the leader of the Chicago Chapter of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society, a role which he assumed at the request of Professor Nakashima in 2010. The Chapter holds regular exhibitions at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago and the Chicago Botanic Garden. He is passionate about sharing ikebana with those not frequently able to access Japanese cultural arts. After Professor Nakashima's passing in 2014, her collection of tea and ikebana implements, kimonos, obi and other cultural items were donated to the Japanese Culture Center. Professor Harris serves as Curator of this extensive collection and is also is a recipient of the Japan America Society of Chicago's Cultural Achievement Award.
Patricia Larkin Green
Patricia Larkin Green, Chicago, Il USA: sumi-e artist and oil painter. Recipient of many international awards, including the prestigious “Special Cultural Award” from the China Modern Ink Painting Institute and Art Museum, Beijing, China and “Second Grand Prize” from the Jade Buddha Temple, in AnShan City, China.
Academic Highlights: 1982 Student Project for Amity Among Nations’ research scholarship: Greek National Poet, Angelos Sikelianos (?γγελος Σικελιαν?ς) in Greece. Larkin Green studied sumi-e with the masters Madeleine Stanley-Jossem at The Art Institute of Chicago, and is "soto-deshi" ( ??? ) to International Zen Master, Shozo Sato. Genshin-kai: The Japanese Calligraphy Association in Japan, ??? (Teacher) 2021 under the teachings of master calligrapher Hekiun Oda.
She acts as the North America Exhibition Coordinator for the International Chinese Calligraphic Art and Ink Painters Society, (ICCPS) ???????????.
Currently Larkin Green teaches sumi-e classes in the Rinsai method at The Japanese Culture Center in Chicago. Proceeds from her artwork and teaching activities benefit The Japanese Arts Foundation whose mission is to expand opportunity, education, and the sustainability of Japanese arts in Chicago to diverse communities like Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Public Library, museums, and other philanthropic organizations.
Larkin Green Studios YouTube