As a child, no feeling compared to sprinting barefoot along the beach into the turbulent wind like a maniac–hair flowing wildly in every which direction–as a colorful kite floated off into infinity behind you. While today, flying a kite might feel like a simple task, in that childhood moment, it was the greatest accomplishment known to mankind, still captured when you look up into the sky and see a rainbow kite soaring above the clouds.
Dating back to the Edo era, Japanese kites have been a thing of absolute beauty for centuries. Among the most spectacular in the world, Japanese artists cover their bamboo frames with washi (a type of paper), then use ink and brushes to tell the tales of fabled warriors, Buddhist monks, and the Seven Gods of Good Luck–adding symbolic embellishments like carp, insects, birds, and other geometric forms to weave together the intricate stories of their ancestry.
The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art's newest exhibit "The Battle Kites of Shirone" narrows in on the rich, cultural history of kites, kite flying, and even kite battling.
While the origin stories of kite wars in 18th century Shirone are quite varied, their nature is as sturdy as their wooden frames: a seven-day event where participants fly 7X5 meter kites against one another in an attempt to sever the other's string. Despite possible destruction, artists took extra special care to make each kite its own masterpiece...and still do.
Artists Endo Hiromi and Kazama Masao are preserving the art of the Japanese kite as they hand paint 40 pieces for this new exhibit in Haifa. Alongside special kite-building workshops, allow your own nostalgia to fuse with the nostalgia of an entire culture.
Exhibition opens August 12th and runs until December 31st. For more information, check out the museum's WEBSITE.