JAPAN FAN / Payton Calderon

SEPTEMBER 2020 (VOL.155)

Payton Calderon

Currently lives in:Los Angeles
Occupation: Currently unemployed, thanks COVID…
Loves Japan since 12 years old
Have you been to Japan?4 times (lived and studied)
Favorite Japanese Food:Okonomiyaki, ten-don, wagashi (traditional sweets) and matcha
Favorite Japanese Item:Kimono
Favorite Japanese Characters or People:Anyone who practices traditional culture/arts, Ebizo Ichikawa (famous kabuki actor)
Favorite Japanese Word:Ookini おおきに (Thank you in Kyoto dialect)
A Japanese Name you wish to have:Murasaki (purple) or Fujiko (little wisteria)

What inspired you to like Japan?

I’ve always admired their deep respect for nature, traditions, and society as a whole.  As well as their dedication to the perfection of a certain craft.

Anything you are deeply in love with?

As mentioned above I have a deep passion with kimono and I really enjoy learning about it and even practice putting it on myself now and then.  Please follow my Instagram account dedicated to that and other various Japanese culture related things @paytonloveskimono

Which part of Japan are you fascinated with?

I love Japanese traditional culture and arts such as nihon buyo (dance), shamisen, theatre, tea ceremony etc.  Therefore, I am fascinated and deeply respect the geisha (geiko) who spend years practicing and preserving those dying arts.  The photo above is of myself dressed up as a geisha from an authentic henshin/makeover studio in Kamishichiken, Kyoto.  Best experience ever!

Any fun experience?

I’ve spent Halloween in Shibuya, Tokyo twice.  Also counted down the New Year of 2017 in the Shibuya crossing.  I also love going to the spring/fall geisha dances in Kyoto whenever I’m there.  Highly recommend.

Any recommendation other readers should try?

I think it is very important not only see modern Japan but also experience the history by wearing kimono, visiting smaller towns, tea ceremony, onsens, etc.  Absolutely go to Kyoto and spend time getting lost either by walking or biking around the city.

Any favorite Japanese spot in LA?

I really enjoy all of the events held in the spring and any Japanese gardens.