Tabi Moccasin Cross - Cultural Footwear Home

Spring 2007

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“Wearing two pairs of footwear. -The right moccasin”

From the series “Tabi Moccasin Cross-Cultural Footwear”


          This piece is Japanese style of Moccasin I created. This Moccasin’s pattern is taken from Japanese traditional footwear, called Tabi. This series, Tabi style moccasin, contains two parts of the series, the right and left moccasins. The title of this right moccasin is taken after an old Japanese proverb meaning to do two different things at the same time. This piece is a representation of my current stage that I am here in Native American land, studying their culture and art, at the same time, studying my own Japanese culture and art. Also, as I am right-handed, this right side of moccasin represents my first step of my life, I stepped out of my culture and started walking my own life. In this moccasin, the inside part has Japanese traditional scenery that I originally belong to, and the outside of it has scenery of Native American land where I am now. In this piece, I use the important symbols of both cultures I researched: sacred mountains (Mt.Fuji, Spider Rock, Monument valley), housings (Hogan and Shinto shrine), plants and flowers (Pine, Plum Bamboo, cactus, berries) , animals (crane and turtle), butterfly, the sun and the moon.


“Living in Two Worlds. -The Left Moccasin”

From the series “Tabi Moccasin Cross-Cultural Footwear”


         The left moccasin is titled “Living in Two Worlds.” As Native Americans have been struggling about living in two different worlds, Western world and their traditional world, many Japanese including me have been struggling with the same issue, living in westernized world and our traditional world. In this moccasin, the inside part has Japanese traditional scenery as well as the right moccasin, which represents our identity, who we are. And the outside part has modern technological scenery of night view in Tokyo today, where I am from. There are too many high buildings with high technology and smoke from air pollution. The earth is covered by thick asphalt everywhere. The sacred turtle is hidden in the raging seas. Mt.Fuji and its sacred light are hidden by city’s smoke. Without the light, people are getting lost. The world is losing balance. At the same time, there are still  our sacred plants, pine, cherry blossoms, and plum blossoms, strongly surviving in this rough world. This is the scenery of our survival in this world.