Ms. Uchiyama, who makes Kimono gown was coordinator of this event and played “Watering Girl” role !
There was a male Shitate-ya (仕立て屋), who is very rare nowadays.
His live sewing can be seen at YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/user/KimoKame
Male Kimono maker
The house was decorated with several Kimonos and fabrics.
Although, the events finished and there were no live exhibition of sewing now, the place is very nice to visit.
It is only 400 Yen to enter the Museum.
If you have a chance to visit the suburb of Tokyo, why don’ t you try ?
Jusaburo Tsujimura is one of most authentic doll artists in Japan. Most of his dolls are traditional Japanese in Kimono, but he also makes some western style dolles. They are so sultry as if they are really alive.
There is “Jusaburo” museum shop in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.
You can learn doll making there as well. If you have any chances to visit Tokyo, it is one of the places worth to take a look at.
By the way, Jusaburo is 80 years old men still very active and energetic ! He was born in 1933. Today one of Japan’s finest doll-makers, he actively expands the scope of his art into areas such as costume design, direction, and script writing for stage and film. His performances have received high acclaim including those in America, Europe and Hong Kong.
Kanzashi, which is a hair ornaments in traditional Japanese hir styles, came into widely use during the Edo period (1700s), when artisans in Edo (present-day Tokyo) acquired the techniques of making Hana Kanzashi in Kyoto. These kanzashi are created from squares of thin silk fabric by a technique called “tsumami-zaiku.” Each square is multiply folded and combined with another to create patterns of flowers and birds.
There is a video showing how tsumami zaiku kanzashi is made.
kanzashi came to be used as hairpins to put hair together with the growing aesthetic sense of women. What is more, kanzashi came to have a different aspect with the change. Other than the tool to put hair together, kanzashi became complete accessories to decorate the hair. It is said that the change of kanzashi made more variations of women’s hairdos.
At the present time, Edo tsumami kanzashi are popular hair ornaments worn at some formal occasions like New Year’s Day, coming-of-age ceremonies, and so on.The coming of age is Jan. 14 this year and many Japanese women wear Kimono to attend the ceremony. We see beautiful kanzashi that decorate the hair on such occasions.
These skilfully hand crafted flowers are made of Japanese Chirimen, silk and fine quality cotton. Our kimokame artisan, Rumi Tsuchihashi made them by Tsumami Zaiku technique. This eye-catching accessories are good for your western fashion.
If you have only 2 humble Tsumugi Kimonos as your hand and need to wear either one of them at New Year Party, which do you prefer ?
The entire image of Kimono changes depending on the coordination with Obi.
In addition, accessories for Kimono, such as “Obijime” and “Obiage”, as well as “Haneri” play roles of “spice” that pluses a nuance.
“Obijime” is the strap that holds Obi.
“Obiage” is the scarf-like fabric that covers inner strings and decorates the edge of Obi in front.
“Haneri”, that is not shown in the pictures this time, though, is the fabric that covers and decorates the collar of “Juban”, Kimono underwear.
Now, there are 3 patterns of coordination for each !
A. This kimono fabric is called “Some-Oshima” (染め大島), a kind of “Oshima-Tsumugi” (大島紬) that is very famous fabric produced in Kagoshima prefecture.
Usually, the pattern of “Oshima-Tsumugi” is inwoven, however, the pattern of “Some-Oshima” is dyed after the fabric is woven.
A-1 Oshima with Tsumugi Obi
A-1 is coordination with “Tsumugi” “Nagoya-Obi”, “Tsumugi” “Obijime”, and yellow “Shibori” “Obiage”.
A-2 Oshima with Maple Obi
A-2 is coordination with Maple motif “Nagoya-Obi”, thin & round “Obijime” with color ball charm, and light-green “Chirimen” “Obiage”.
A-3 Oshima with Chrysanthemum Obi
A-3 coordination is with Chrysanthemum motif “Nagoya-Obi”, thin & round triple color “Obijime”, and yellow “Rinzu” “Obijime”.
B. This Kimono fabric is called “Yuki-Tsumugi” (結城紬), that is very famous “Tsumugi” produced in Ibaraki prefecture. Its inwoven pattern is “Sakura” petals.
B-1 Yuki Tsumugi with Fukuro Obi
B-1 coordination is with “Fukuro-Obi” of openwork, green flat “Obijime”, and light-green “Chirimen” “Obiage” (same one in A-2). ”Sakura” motif “Obidome”, a brooch like accessary for “Obijime”, is put as an additional accent.
“Fukuro-Obi” is usually for formal or semi formal Kimono, however this is called “Share-Bukuro” (洒落袋) that is for Komon Kimono.
B-2 Yuki Tsumugi with Hitta Nagoya Obi
B-2 coordination is with “Chirimen” “Nagoya-Obi” with dotted pattern called “Hitta” (疋田), thick & round “Obijime”, and “Obiage” with same fabric as “Obijime”
B-3 Yuki Tsumugi with Stripe Nagoya Obi
Finally, B-3 coordination is with “Nagoya-Obi” with Stripe “Tsumugi” fabric, black flat “Obijime with “Obidome” (same one as in B-1), and red “Shibori” “Obijime”. This “Nagoya-Obi” was remade from the fabric that was originally Kimono.
Leaf peeping in autumn is one of popular seasonal events for Japanese people along with “O-Hanami”, Cherry blossom viewing, in spring.
Especially, maple leaves with their color changed in red are very beautiful, so that, they are one of the most popular leaves in autumn.
Japanese people have loved nature and incorporated it into their lives since ancient times.
As you know, Kimono is one of the representatives.
Traditionally in Japan, you will be regarded as “Iki” (粋), meaning snappy, if you take the seasonal fashion in advance just before the beginning. But, if you wear Kimono with Sakura motif in autumn, you will be regarded as “Busui”(無粋), meaning clunky.
Maple leaf is very popular motif for Kimono and Obi as much as Sakura.
Maple leaf motif Nagoya-Obi
In general, motif of colored maple leaf is loved very much as a symbol of autumn, however, do you know there is a green or non-colored maple leaf motif for Kimono ?
You can wear Kimono with motif of green or non-colored maple leaves in “non-autumn” seasons.
Of course, winter is not the season because all the leaves fall down from the trees.
In that sense, from spring to early summer will be the good timing.
Maple leaf motif Komon Fabric
As mentioned earlier, Japanese have valued the seasonal sense, and not liked to take one non-seasonal item in the different season for long time.
Recently, however, emerging modern Yukata fabric tends to be free from the old traditional sense of value.
Usually, colored maple leaves are not used for the pattern of Yukata, that is worn in summer, because it is the symbol of autumn, but as you can see in the below picture, it is actually used now !
Maple leaf motif Yukata Fabric
Although, this may be unacceptable for senior Japanese people who adhere to traditional seasonal sense, changes like this could be one of the keys for younger generation to carry on the torch of Japanese cultures with which enjoying and developing.
What is “Obiage” (帯揚げ）? Have you heard of the name ?
It is one of decorating item for women wearing Kimono, and it is common way these days.
(Men do not use Obiage for their wearing Kimono.)
However, the history of putting Obiage is not very long.
It is said that a Geisha in Fukagawa, Tokyo, invented Obiage as a combination with new Obi decoration, called “Taiko-Musubi” in around 1877.
The purpose of Obiage is to hide the string that bands Obi on Kimono.
Obiage used for Taiko Musubi
Obiage is shown on the edge of Obi, and between Obi and Kimono
Then it became popular around 1907.
So, when you look at the pictures drawn before 1870′s, there were no women putting Obiage.
Now, there are many Obiage with a variety of colors and textures sold.
Because they are so pretty and beautiful fabric, we thought that it would be very nice if they were used for scarfs wearing with modern cloths.
Today, I would like to introduce Hiromi Asai, New York-based kimono stylist and designer. She produced kimono fashion shows not only in the United States but also in Europe such as at Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and The Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden in April, 2011.
She founded MODE & CLASSIC LLC in 2010. MODE & CLASSIC is now recognized as a unique kimono styling / design company in the United States and presented bi-annual seasonal fashion collection, starting as “FUSION” for Spring/Summer 2012 at BK Fashion Weekend.
She is also giving kimono dressing lessons as well as kimono rental service in New York, starting at $40 for a beginning session. Licensed by a Japanese academy, she is also trained to certify students in the art of dressing others. Unfortunately, even many Japanese people don’t know how to properly put on a kimono. Putting on a kimono without help is almost impossible. The kimono with all its accessories can include a dozen components, and the type of fabric used and the manner in which the kimono is folded vary, depending on the occasion and the wearer’s social status. Indeed, the kimono has a long history — more than 1,000 years — but most of the rules that the Japanese rely on today were established just 150 years ago, or less. The kimono has been worn much more freely for most of its history.
We hope that many people enjoy wearing Kimono & watching Kimono.
Why women wear kimono or yukata these days ? Women who wear a kimono or a yukata, men who adore it and find it extremely sexy, or women who think about cosplaying in Japan oriented outfits.
Besides women’s dressing and makeup, their Kimono hairstyles also play important role in the enhancement of their persona and confidence. You can make a number of hairstyles to go with your Yukata, or Kimono. Although the hairstyle which was worn by the old traditional Japanese women is difficult to be made and no more in vogue these days but something similar to it is commonly made by Japanese women in today’s time.
Traditional Japanese Hairstyle
Hairstyle which suit with kimono and yukata outfits. Updo-hair which show the lines of the face shapely are most popular hairstyle. It may be good idea for adding some Japanese flavor to wear kanzashi hair accessories with. This type of hairstyles are very easy to make.
Modern Kimono/Yukata hairstyle
Modern Kimono/Yukata Hiarstyle
Do you want to try those hairstyle ? There are many websites which shows step by step instruction with images. Also, there are more than 50 videos which shows how to arrange various hairstyles for Yukata where you may find your favorite one. Click here to view the videos and try some !
Our artisans held a market on May 27th, in tribute to “GOFUKU NO HI”.
It was only one day event on 27th borrowing the bar space, but unfortunately not on the exact date of “GOFUKU NO HI” (5/29) because all of the members have their regular jobs to live on and the weekend was the only chance for them.
Tsuzuku Kimono Market on 5/27
“Tsuzuku Kimono” is the name of the group, which our artisans formed and belong to.
Its nature is something like small, modern “Guild” for Kimono artisans.
Artisan - Tsuchihashi Rumi
Artisan - Haha-Game
Artisan - Uchiyama Izumi
They plan and create their original products of Japanese-taste such as Kimono, bags, Post cards, stamps, and so on. There are another members in addition to our artisans, including only one male member.
Look at a part of their products sold on the market below. Thy are all made by hand !
Bags remade from Kimono fabric
Pretty stamps made of Plastic Erasers
Post Cards with Stamped Picture
Fans with Stamped Pictures
Coin Purse made from Kimono Fabric
Some of visitors were also wearing pretty Kimono, which contributed to radiate the feel of “Retro Japanese” on the market.
It is always fun to watch original coordination of Kimono and Obi of each person ^^/
Some of them may give you a hint for your new Kimono coordination with Obi.
Visitors in Kimono
They are all casual Kimono coordination that have different tastes and atmosphere from gorgeous coordination for Furisode or Homongi like linked below.
As this market was held only one day, “Tsuzuku Kimono” is planning to have another markets as many as possible soon.
Kimokame is cheering them on and supporting their activities !
This past Sunday, the onsen in the mountainside was very pleasant. The mountains were still covered with snow.
Mountains at Kusatsu Onsen
Every Japanese loves Onsen. The onsen we went was Kusatsu, one of the most popular places for hot-spring, ‘onsen’, where more than 3 million people visit every year.
Kusatsu hot spring - Yubatake
Kusatsu, located in the northwest of Gunma Prefecture, has been a well-known, well-loved spa since its discovery in 1193. By the early 1600s, it had grown to be one of the largest spa-resorts in Japan with 68 inns.
Kusatsu hot spring - Yubatake
Onsen ryokan (Japanese Hotel) offers Yukata which is a traditional garment, similar in style to kimono, but lighter, much more casual, and made of cotton. We can wear Yukata at all times during our stay, including to the bath, to both dinner and breakfast, and to bed as sleepwear. (click here to see ‘how to wear Yukata’)
A pair of Yukata in our room
Yukata were prepared at our Ryokan as well. One was medium size and the other one was large size.
My friend wearing Yukata at dinner
Before dinner, we took onsen spa. This was our happiest moment during our trip.
The interior of ryokan was Japanese taste and this kind of atmosphere matched our wearing yukata.
Interior of our hotel at Kusatsu
Symbol of Kusatsu was the girl wearing yukata and this kind of character you can find at many other Onsen places.
Image character of Kusatsu Onsen
Onsen Ryokan is usually managed and operated by Okani, a woman who is a master and at the core of the existence of Ryokan. I found the poster which introduces the Okami of all ryokan at Kusatsu. They always wear Kimono nicely in front of customers.
A poster of Onsen Okami at Kusatsu
When we go to Onsen, both customer and master of hotel wear kimono. That is one of our tradition and I want you to experience onsen trip when you visit Japan. And then, you will realize why Japanese loves onsen so much !
Do you know Kokeshi, a Japanese Doll ? If you have visited Japan, we might have a chance to see or buy them.
And have you noticed that these dolls are usually wear a Kimono around the waist with an obi belt. Obi is a traditional Japanese fashion accessary. Standard size of obi is now about 360 centimeter long by 30 centimeter wide.
The obi became a prominent part of a woman’s ensemble sometime in 16th century. It was then that designers, weavers and dyers all focused their talent on creating a longer, wider and more elaborate obi and becomes decorative elements and even an art.
Japanese culture has inspired many of the world stage in the field of fashion. Armani Prive recently featured a Japanese-inspired design collection. In 2011 Paris Fashion Couture Week, the legendary Giorgio Armani showed an Asian-influenced collection. Armani combine two unique different style of fashion, a Japanese kimono into French chic. Armani’s collection included kimono coats, belts resembling obi sashes, jackets embroidered with traditional kimono patterns such as ume (Japanese apricot) blossoms–all combining traditional and cosmopolitan designs.
In the field of fashion kimono is worn with a blazer cut. An accessory like this is timeless and versatile that we must learn to wear. In terms of style you can combine with the obi with your pants or skirts of high waist.
You will therefore understand, the obi is an important part of Japanese dress codes,it is a jewel, an ancient tradition and not a recent fad. So enjoy yourself if you want a true Japanese obi, the budget is quite high but in terms of Japanese tradition as the authentic wear!
Like English speaking people learn Shakespeare at school, we learn the Tale of Genji at school. Since this was written to entertain the Japanese court people of the eleventh century, even modern Japanese translation version is so hard to read.
But this is Japan that means we have manga, and anime. The most famous manga of this story is ‘Asakiyumemishi’. Manga is more visual than novel so that we can imagine what noble people were wearing and how they live in 1000 years ago.
This is a long story but you can tell the aesthetic sense of Japanese. It is so interesting for me that there is no scene of having a meal. At that time the court people think that the action of eating is a lack of beauty.
Another interesting thing is that naming people was considered rude in the court society at that time, so none of the characters are named within the work; instead, the narrator refers to men often by their rank or their station in life, and to women often by the color of their clothing, or by the words used at a meeting, or by the rank of a prominent male relative. This results in different appellations for the same character depending on the chapter.
Try watching anime or reading manga version of the Tale of Genji as I did. You will find the more interesting culture !
KimoKame is a labor of love from a team of Japanese who want
to promote high-quality Japanese handmade products to the world.