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Israel’s national bird stars on kimono created for Tokyo Olympics

CM 28/08/2021 2

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A kimono featuring Israel’s national bird, the hoopoe, as well as the word Shalom (שלום), was made for the Israeli delegation to the Tokyo Olympics which ended earlier in August.
The kimono was originally made with the intention to be worn during the Olympic Games’ opening ceremonies in Tokyo, to celebrate the symbols of the country. In total, 207 kimonos, at a costly $20,000 per kimono, were made for the head of every country’s delegation to the Olympics to wear.
All the kimonos were made four years prior to the Olympics by Japanese artists. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic which plagued Tokyo during the Olympics meant the kimonos were never given to the delegations.

The Israeli kimono’s designer, Dr. Akira Akiyama of the University of Tokyo, met with former Israeli ambassador to Japan Ruth Kahanoff to ask for suggestions.
In their meeting, avid avian admirer Kahanoff advised Dr. Akira to incorporate Israel’s national bird in the design.
 The Hoopoe bird (credit: Wikimedia Commons) The Hoopoe bird (credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Following the hoopoe’s victory in the survey, former president Shimon Peres declared it as the national bird of the State of Israel.
“I was quite moved by the Israeli kimono, which represents a message of peace and friendship,” said ornithologist and senior researcher in the department of zoology at Tel Aviv University (TAU) Prof. Yossi Leshem, who initiated SPNI’s survey in 2008.
The kimonos will be on display at the 2025 World Expo, organized by Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and hosted by Japan in Osaka and Kansai.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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