Sqeeeeeeee! Today I watched the Sodo School of Kimono (makers of the biyosugata) preliminary round for Shikoku and Chugoku. A few of my friends were competing in the contest (I decided not to due to an extremely hectic work schedule) so I had people I was cheering for!
The itinerary was women’s furisode (using the biyosugata to create a plump sparrow bow), women’s tomesode, women’s casual, men’s category, children’s category, foreigner’s category, and the team category (think synchronized swimming but with kitsuke). Contestants in each category had eight minutes to complete their kituske, but the fastest kistuske of the day was 2:19! He was a 16 year old who practiced three hours a day. He ended up winning the men’s competition!
The opening ceremony. I mentioned it in a previous post, but privacy laws are strict in Japan. I could only get permission from a few friends to post their photos so I have to censor everyone else’s faces to protect their privacy.
The women’s furisode competition.
The women’s tomesode competition.
The women’s casual competition. The judges are examining their obi.
The men’s competition. This is the first place winner. He’s only 16 years old, but he practices three hours a day!
The children’s competition. Contestant #2 wasn’t having anything to do with it. The organizers eventually had to come out, dress her, then take her off stage when she started crying. She didn’t win, but she stole the show!
These four and five year olds were some of the first children to finish dressing. The first completed kitsuke clocked in at 3:32.
The team competition. Everyone dressed in sync, and at the end, they all checked each other to fix any tucks or wrinkles that may have been missed.
Kimono and hijab work really well together. This team is from one of the local universities and they’re from Malaysia.
The foreigner competition! I focused on my friend here because I can actually show her face and she was placed right in front of me so getting photos was easy! Here she is tying her obi with the biyosugata.
Lining up the eri. All the competitors had to turn to the side to avoid flashing the judges.
Adjusting the ohashori.
Tying the obiage after putting on the obi.
One final check before going to the judges.
Second person to finish! This is my other friend, the only man in the foreigner competition. I wanted to get more pics of him, but he was on the other side of the stage and my camera couldn’t handle the distance in a dark theater. Sorry!
Being interviewed again. It’s really nerve wracking and easy to forget your Japanese when EVERYONE is looking at you!
Getting the obi judged.
After the competition, before they announced the results, there were a couple of demonstrations. First was, I kid you not, dancing while putting on kimono. Synchronized kitsuke to the max! A friend of mine managed to film it in two sections.
After that, there was a demonstration of obi tying in the shape of flowers. Absolutely stunning!
Kiku (chrysanthemum) obi!
Momo/peach blossom (I think) obi
Finally, the results.
Guess who got first place in the foreigner’s category? CONGRATS!
She’ll get to go onto the national competition in Tokyo next year. Good luck!
This is the kimono queen, the grand prize winner of the contest accepting her prize.