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Media Release

For Immediate Release | June 19, 2019

Edo in the Sky: Traditional Kites of Japan

Marvel at intricately made and colourfully painted Japanese Edo kites at The Japan Foundation, Sydney’s upcoming exhibition, Edo in the Sky: Traditional Kites of Japan. On display will be a selection of 32 works by world-famous master kite maker Mikio Toki, whose kites have been displayed in museums across Japan and the United States. Accompanied by demonstrations and workshops, the exhibition will run at The Japan Foundation Gallery from July 10 to October 12.

Kite expert, Mikio Toki, is a regular guest of international kite festivals around the world. He specialises in the Edo kite, which refers to a distinctive form that remains largely unchanged since it was first developed in 18th century Edo, now known as Tokyo. An Edo kite’s rectangular bamboo frame is covered with strikingly decorated washi paper. Taking inspiration from ukiyo-e, the motifs are painted in bold, vibrant colours and typically feature ideographs, legendary heroes and famous kabuki actors. The popularity of early Edo kites spread to regions of Japan outside of Edo, eventually taking on new shapes to suit the local geography.

Today, regions throughout Japan are represented by their own distinctive kite traditions and kite flying remains a popular pastime in Japan; they can be seen decorating the skies to welcome the coming of spring and on special occasions such as Children’s Day, when giant carp kites are on display.

Flying in from Tokyo, Mikio Toki will give a personal introduction of his kites and demonstrate his craft at the opening reception of his exhibition on July 10. He will also share joy of kite building by running kite making workshops for children in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively on July 11 and 12.


Edo in the Sky: Traditional Kites of Japan

July 10 – October 12, 2019

Get up close to intricately handcrafted Edo kites, considered Japan’s first kite design originating from the 1700s, made by master kit builder Mikio Toki. Join us on July 10 for the opening reception with Toki who will share stories about his kites and demonstrate the kite-making process.

Held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney

About the exhibition



Thursday, July 11 | Two sessions: 9am-11am; 1pm-3pm
Held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney

Friday, July 12 | 1pm-3pm
Held at Huntingdale Hall

Create and design your own Japanese kite to take home in a step-by-step class with master kite maker, Mikio Toki.

Taking inspiration from ukiyo-e prints, Edo kites often depict legendary heroes and famous kabuki actors in vibrant colours. In this workshop, participants will be using bamboo and washi paper to create a bowed, rectangular kite. After the workshop, you can join us outside to fly your beautiful new kites.

This workshop is for school-aged children, best suited for ages 8-10. Children under the age of 7 will require the assistance of a parent or guardian.

About the workshops


Mikio Toki is a master kite maker who has been making traditional Japanese kites for over 42 years. Of the hundreds of regional varieties of kites in Japan, Toki specialises in the Edo (now Tokyo) method of kite making. Toki is passionate about preserving this centuries-old craft and passing it on to future generations.

Being one of the very few traditional Japanese kite makers in Japan, Toki is often invited to exhibit his work at kite festivals around the world, where he conducts kite making workshops for adults and children. Toki has won numerous kite awards, including The Lee Toy Memorial Kite Artist of the Year Award, 2011 and has been featured in a variety of Japanese kite publications.

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Gallery Hours

Mon–Thu: 10am–6pm*
*Hours extended until 8pm during July 22-September 26
Fri: 10am–6pm
Sat: 10am–4pm

Closed on Sundays, July 15 & October 7


Gallery & Sydney Workshops

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008

Melbourne Workshop

Huntingdale Hall
Germain St & Huntingdale Road
Oakleigh South VIC 3167


Exhibition entry is free.

Workshops are ticketed and cost $15 per person (booking fees apply). Bookings essential.

Media Enquiries

Anne Lee
(02) 8239 0055

General Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

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