Exhibition “The Beauty of Exchanging Gifts in Japan -Giving Shape to One’s Thoughts and Emotions-“

International Premiere Exhibition

The Beauty of Exchanging Gifts in Japan

Giving Shape to One’s Thoughts and Emotions


[Duration]Thu 18 March – Sun 25 April 2021 | 10.30 – 19.00
(Closed on every Monday and Songkran holidays)
[Admission]Free of charge
[Venue]Gallery 1fl. TCDC Bangkok
The Grand Postal Building,
1160 Charoenkrung Road,
Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Service Area: 02-105-7400 ext. 213, 214 (Closed Mon)
TCDC Office: 02-105-7441 (Mon-Fri)


[Duration]Wed 5 May – Wed 30 June 2021 | 10.30 – 18.00
(Closed on every Monday)
[Admission]Free of charge
[Venue]TCDC Khon Kaen
123 Mitrapab Rd.,
Amphoe Muang Khon Kaen,
Khon Kaen 40002
TEL 043-202396

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/813808115875906/

* We will have special events in Bangkok and Khon Kaen. Please stay tuned for more update at our facebook jfbangkok

* Due to the social distancing policy during covid-19 situation, we limit the number of audiences to visit the exhibition.

Uchikake dress: Design of Penglai Island on white figured silk satin ground, late 18thcentury

The Japan Foundation, Bangkok, in collaboration with Creative Economy Agency (CEA) via TCDC Bangkok and TCDC Khon Kaen are pleased to co-organize the traveling exhibition “The Beauty of Exchanging Gifts in Japan: Giving Shape to One’s Thoughts and Emotions.” This exhibition is the newest collection of the Japan Foundation and will remarkably set out its journey to Thailand as the first destination country in the world.

Curated by Nagasaki Iwao, Director of Kyoritsu Women’s University Museum and Professor of Department of Textiles and Clothing, this exhibition showcases the formalities and  rituals of gift exchanging in Japan by revealing the characteristics, beauty, and variety of gifts exchanged and presented, along with the thoughts and philosophies of the Japanese people that exist behind them.

In Japan, the exchanging of gifts is not simply an act of giving something to someone but an expression of gratitude or wishing for the happiness of the receiver. The pattern, design, color, material and method of producing the gift bestowed all reflect the giver’s thoughts and feelings towards the receiver. Why do the bride’s parents give the shiromuku, pure white kimono, with kissho patterns which feature motifs of a bamboo, pine, plum tree, somethimes with crane and turtle, to their daughther? Why do Japanese people use Fukusa and Furoshiki for wrapping gifts? How do Japanese parents treat their new born babies and children while wishing for their healthy growth? Why do haori and hanten jackets, the Japanese short winter coat,  have crest or sign on them and what are they for?

The answers to the questions lie in this exhibition as more than 90 exhibits are divided into four parts to visually present shapes to the giver’s thoughts and emotions of Japanese people during their major stages of life, including

Maiwai: Design of treasure boat on navy cotton ground, early 20th century

Part 1: Various Gifts related to Wedding: Costumes and implements prepared for wedding ceremonies and the gifts presented during the celebrations serve to reflect the spirit of praying for happiness of the bride.

Part 2: The Heart and Art of Gift-wrapping Fukusa and Furoshiki: The Japanese spirit in the act of “gift-wrapping” as well as the Japanese aesthetic is spoken through nemerous patterns and designs.

Part 3: Gifts from Parents to Children: The gifts from parents to children unveil their affection and wishes for wellbeing and healthy growth towards their children in the context of Japanese culture.

Part 4:  Exchanging Gifts to Strengthen Bonds: Gifts given and exchanged are to strengthen or confirm group bonds such as those in a master and servent relationship, employer and employee or residents within the same region or community.

We hope the exhibition will serve as an opportunity for viewers to engage with and understand the manner by which the “sense of harmony with nature” and “strong connections between people” that together form the foundation of Japanese culture, are embodied in the rituals of gift exchanging in Japan.

Co-organized by:

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Supported by:

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