By Bonnie Carroll

The historic University Club was the perfect venue selected by Takako Wakita to present her beautiful and historic Kimono fashion show featuring many of her own family kimonos and those she has collected through the years. Each Kimono was modeled before every guest to see and came complete with an educational story shared by director Wakita that included background information on traditional and appropriate uses for each Kimono, many of which were described by guests as the most beautiful they had ever seen.

Takako Wakita is without doubt one of the most interesting women in the Santa Barbara community who has made a major contribution as a real ambassador for Japanese traditions and history through her sharing of information on the language, customs, and history of Japan, which she happily shares with students, friends, and guests at her charming presentations throughout the city.

Born and raised in Japan, Takako holds a Master of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1984, she established the Japanese Language Program at Santa Barbara City College, where she teaches Japanese language and Japanese sushi classes. At the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, she has been a member of the Tea House Management Committee and studied Japanese Tea Ceremony for years.

Takako has more than one hundred kimonos, many from her collection were seen at the opening of Santa Barbra’s Madam Butterfly in 2019. Takako has played the mother of Butterfly in all productions of Madam Butterfly at OperaSB. Her work as the President of the Santa Barbara/Toba City Japan Sister City Committee has also garnered her praise.

Takako Wakita (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)

The University Club luncheon in a spacious dining room was ideal for the kimono presentation, complete with a Saki toast before the performance. Takako invited guests to take photos of the entire cast of performers in this magical Japanese kimono production she created. The finale became a large gathering of excited guests getting their favorite finale photos of the exquisite collection.

Models for the kimono presentation included friends and University Club volunteers who did a stellar job of gracefully moving through the dining room displaying the beautiful and colorful kimonos, often carrying appropriate props. Additional skilled ‘helpers’ of director Wakita assisted with many of the production highlights and gave a charming demonstration on how to wear a kimono and how to fold it for storage. The explanation and historical details of each kimono described by Takako included poignant details of the use for each kimono on the runway area and the accompaniment of music selected and performed by Bob Sedivy, a certified Sauhachi flautist who often performs with Takako on her presentations, was simply delightful.

For additional information on Takako’s future Kimono or Formal Tea Service productions for information on Takako Wakita cultural events please visit: wakita964@gmail.com.

Bonnie Carroll

Written by Bonnie Carroll

Writer, publisher, editor over 30 years, Bonnie Carroll is the present Publisher, Editor-in-Chief of Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News founded 2005. She is also a contributor to a bevy of magazine and newspapers California and international since 1983.

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