It’s Official! Kimono Prices Are Going Up!

Okay, maybe it’s not “Official” official.  Does anecdotally official count?  Because that’s all I really have.  But it does confirm in my mind what I’ve thought was going to happen for a while.  But first, a little background.

It seems like at least once a month, I come across a news article featuring someone in the kimono community bemoaning the decline of the industry.  The master artisans are retiring or passing away, and nobody wants to learn the craft.  These articles usually talk about their efforts to revitalize the industry by (1) getting younger people interested in kimono (2) making kimono more accessible or (3) creating new objects and projects using the same techniques that are used to create kimono.

Here’s just a short list of articles that I’ve found in the past year or so along these lines.

In my mind, it’s simple supply and demand.  As the artisans retire or pass away, the supply of hand-made silk kimono will dwindle.  At the same time, these kimono activists are trying to increase demand for kimono to keep the industry alive.  Something has to give somewhere and prices will rise accordingly.

I’ve also heard some rumors in the past few months regarding certain secondhand stores (no, I won’t name names).  According to what I’ve heard, a large chain of recycle kimono stores has struck a deal with a large chain of general recycle shops to supply them with kimono (for those outside Japan, recycle is the general term for a second-hand store here.)  Sure enough, I have been noticing a rise in prices at that particular chain of recycle stores over the last few months, especially when it comes to well-crafted pieces like furisode, full shibori, or oshima tsumugi.

However, for me, the final confirmation came this weekend when I was out shopping.  My absolute favourite recycle shop is a local one (not a chain) that operates as an NGO/NPO.  The workers there can’t get a job in the regular workforce for various reasons, so they get work experience at the shop.  They get all their stock through donations, so when they sell it on, it’s really, really, cheap.

Or at least it was.

I would find incredible pieces there for incredibly cheap prices.  One of my favourite formal pieces is from that shop and I only paid ¥2500.  I routinely get kimono there for less than ¥1000, sometimes as cheap as ¥350.  I think the most I ever paid for a single piece was ¥3000.  It was very easy to break my wallet and I never left that store without something in my shopping bag and a grin on my face.

But when I went there this weekend, I was hit with a case of sticker shock.  There were very few pieces lower than ¥2000.  With the fast turnover of this store, I’m betting the ones cheaper than that were just old stock that hadn’t sold yet.  There was a gorgeous furisode that was on sale for ¥8000.  It’s not an unfair price, but before that visit, I would have expected a price of ¥4000 or less.   There was also an oshima tsumugi piece there for the unheard of price (for that shop) of ¥6500.  Gasp!  Shock!  Horror!

Yes, yes, yes, I know.  Those prices aren’t all that bad.  In any other location, I would have been happy to find those pieces at those prices.  Just not at this shop.  It would be like finding anything is a secondhand shop for full price.  Even if it is brand new and still in the box, you don’t expect the price in a secondhand shop to be the same as in a retail location.

Yes, in my mind, the days of cheap kimono are over.  I can only see prices rising from here.  My already expensive hobby is about to become even more expensive.  I’m sorry wallet and bank account.  I think you’re going to be losing a little more weight in the near future.  Or I won’t have to pay for an expensive second closet to hold everything.  Either way, [music plays] “it’s the end of the world as we knooooow it!”

BTW, I never do any kimono shopping online.  If you do, please comment and let me know if you’ve noticed a price increase at all in the past year.  I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Awa Odori Women’s Kitsuke

For 360 days of the year, my adopted town of Tokushima (徳島) is a quiet little town. But for four days every August, from the twelfth to the sixteenth, the population triples, the downtown core is filled with the sound of drums and flutes, and people are dancing in the streets! It’s awa odori (阿波おどり) the largest dance festival in Japan, and the second largest dance festival in the world.  The motto of awa odori, translated into English, is “We’re fools for dancing, and you’re a fool for watching, so you might as well dance!” And people take that to heart. There are official dance stages where the dancing is organized and orderly, but it’s just as common to see groups breaking out into dance in the middle of the streets and to pull people in to dance with them. It’s an incredible four days and I look forward to it every year.

So why am I writing about a festival on a kimono blog? Simple. The kimono and kitsuke of the female dancers are really, really, unique. A friend of mine, Jaimmika, has been learning how to dance for the past year and she was kind enough to show me her costume. The entire outfit costs about 20,000 yen to put together, and they can be ordered from specialized shops located in Tokushima City. Each dance troupe (ren/) has their own costume and their name is often proclaimed in multiple places on their outfit.  This particular group is called Yasaka Ren and I’ve counted at least five places where they have printed the ren name on various parts of their outfit.  Each outfit is unique, not just from other groups, but from kitsuke rules in general.  So lets take a look at this unique form of kitsuke.

Kimono or Yukata?

The first question I asked was, “Is this a kimono or a yukata?” Honestly? I have no idea. The garment is made of polyester, it’s really, really, short (123 cm to be exact), it’s unlined, the collar is a typical semai eri found on most yukata, and they fold it like a juban, not a kimono! So what do I call it? A kikata? A yumono? Just for simplicity’s sake, I’ll call it a kimono from here on out. I still have no idea what category it would be put in. It’s in a category all on it’s own.

Here, you can see just how short the kimono is. You can also see the name of the dance group written at least three times on the garment.

Here, you can see just how short the kimono is. You can also see the name of the dance group (yasaka ren) written at least three times on the garment.

So What’s Familiar?

There are some elements of this outfit that any kitsuke student will recognize without trouble. First, there are the tabi. Nothing special there. Just plain, white, cotton, tabi. There is also a nagajuban, but this juban is a split one (top and bottom) and only top half is worn. They also use a datejime or magic tape (the kind that uses Velcro) to secure the collars in place (no korin belts though).

The juban has no sleeves, and only the top half is used.

The juban has no sleeves, and only the top half is used.

The obi is a solid black, cotton, hanhaba obi. A regular obi makura and obiita are also used. The obi is tied in different ways for each group, but Yasaka Ren uses a kata musubi. The obi is always secured with a brightly colored obijime that really stands out against the black obi. The color of the obijime and obiage will vary depending on the group.

So What’s Different?  

Short answer: A lot.

For the long answer, lets look at this outfit from the toes up to the head.

 

Geta:

The geta are officially called rikyu geta (利休下駄). These geta are designed so that the ladies can dance on their toes. Yes, their toes. I’ve done it. It hurts. I don’t know how they do it. I never want to again.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

It’s actually easier to dance and walk on your toes. The geta are unbalanced, and if you put your weight on your heels, the geta will dump you on your backside. I came pretty close to being dumped a couple of times the one year I decided to wear them.

The hanao (straps) are always white and red, and they stain the tabi terribly (mine are still stained three years later), so the dancers replace their tabi regularly.

The dancers have two pairs of geta. One is for dancing outside and the other is for dancing on stage. The stage geta have strips of bicycle tire on the bottom teeth and on the toes. This stops the shoes from slipping and from damaging wooden floors. There is also extra padding between the toes on the stage geta.

In the forground are the stage geta. You can see the bicycle tire on the front of the geta and on the teeth. There is also extra padding on the hanao between the toes.

In the foreground are the stage geta. You can see the bicycle tire on the front of the geta and on the teeth. There is also extra padding on the hanao between the toes.

 

Susoyoke and Kimono

I’ve put these together for a very good reason. First, in regular kitsuke, the susoyoke in in the realm of undergarments and it’s never seen. However, in awa odori kitsuke, the kimono is hiked up high to show the susoyoke. Because of this, the susoyoke is brightly coloured (the colour depends on the group) and uses thicker than normal fabric. The kimono is hiked up to a specific angle in the front, and a specific height in the back. This height depends on how tall the dancer is. The length of visible susoyoke must be the same on all dancers in a group, so a taller dancer will have the kimono sit lower, and shorter dancers will have the kimono sit higher. This rule also applies to the obi. All the obi in the group must be at the same height.

But this explains why the kimono is so incredibly short. Less kimono means less bulk that has to be tucked in under the obi.

Here you can see a group of dancers from a different ren. All their obi are the same distance from the ground.

 

Inrou (印籠)

The inrou is the small case, usually wood, that is attached to the obijime. It’s used to hold money or other small items. They come in several shapes, but two of the most common are a small wallet shape, and a small gourd that sometimes has a sake cup attached, although this design is definitely more common on male dancers. The name of the ren can also be written on the inrou.

The inrou of this ren.

The inrou of this ren attached to the obijime.  This ren uses both the wallet form and the gourd form.  No sake cup though!

 

Tekou (手甲)

Awa odori kitsuke includes sleeves. Sleeves with western style cuffs. And buttons. Seriously.

The sleeves are called tekou (literally meaning arm armour). They have elastic on the top and are slipped on under the regular sleeves of the kimono. Why? Mostly for aesthetic purposes and to highlight the arms of the dancers. The dance involves holding your hands up above your head for a long period of time. The white fabric on everyone’s arms definitely looks striking.

Here is the susoyoke, the inrou, and the tekou all together. The elastic end of the sleeve sits under the regular kimono sleeve.

Here is the susoyoke, the inrou, and the tekou all together. The elastic end of the sleeve sits under the regular kimono sleeve.

 

Amigasa (編み笠)

The hat is officially called an amigasa, but I like to call it a taco hat. Admit it, you can never unsee it now can you? It’s a straw hat that is tied on the head in a unique way. Depending on the ren, the hat can be angled forward to cover the face entirely, but Yakasa Ren doesn’t do that.

It's a taco hat!

It’s a taco hat!

 

Kasamakura (笠枕)

This pillow is what holds the amigasa at it’s traditional, impossible, angle. It’s made of styrofoam and it’s covered in rubber mesh that holds the amigasa in place. Dancers have to arrange their hair in a high bun to support the kasamakura, but once the hat in in place, it is almost impossible to see it unless you are deliberately looking for it.  There is also padding on the bottom that make it comfortable to wear.

the kasamakura.

the kasamakura.

The dancers have to have their hair in a high bun to support the kasamakura.

The dancers have to have their hair in a high bun to support the kasamakura.

Here's the kasamakura from the back.

Here’s the kasamakura from the back.

 

The Final Look

The obiage is very visible, and the obijime is tied in a double knot. Both tassels are pointing up as this is a celebratory and happy occasion. You can also see the ren name once again written on the shoulder.

The obiage is very visible, and the obijime is tied in a double knot. Both tassels are pointing up as this is a celebratory and happy occasion. You can also see the ren name once again written on the shoulder.  In this group, the juban collar doesn’t show, but in other groups, the collar is visible.  As long as everyone in the group is dressed the same, it doesn’t matter.

The inrou hangs unobtrusively on the right side near the musubi. In this picture, you can also see just how short the kimono is. The pink you see is the susoyoke plainly visible.

The inrou hangs unobtrusively on the right side near the musubi. In this picture, you can also see just how short the kimono is. The pink you see is the susoyoke plainly visible.

The obi is a plain cotton hanhaba obi. All groups use a black obi, but the other accessory colours are chosen by each individual ren. The obi is tied in a kata musubi knot, but this can change with each group.

The obi is a plain cotton hanhaba obi. All groups use a black obi, but the other accessory colours are chosen by each individual ren. The obi is tied in a kata musubi knot, but this can change with each group.

The final touch is an uchiwa placed behind the musubi. Again, the ren name is printed on the uchiwa. I think at this point I've counte five times that I've seen the name of the ren on this outfit.

The final touch is an uchiwa placed behind the musubi. Again, the ren name is printed on the uchiwa. I think at this point I’ve counted five places that I’ve seen the name of the ren on this outfit.  You can also clearly see the kasamakura under the hat.

The final look! In this picture, you can see the tekou on her arms. It makes for a striking sight when a group of women dance together.

The final look! In this picture, you can see the tekou on her arms. It makes for a striking sight when a group of women dance together.

 

Added Bonus!

I dance awa odori every year.  The ren that I join is not nearly as serious.  They don’t have professionals to dress us, nor do we practice beforehand.  It’s just for fun, so please excuse the poor kitsuke.  This picture is from the time before I learned proper kitsuke, and I now know that the person who dressed me didn’t know what was happening either.  It was still fun, but boy did my feet hurt at the end of the night!  I also didn’t have a kasamakura, which is why my hat is so flat.  Beside me is my favourite dancing fool!  His tabi are actually cushioned and waterproofed at the bottom, and they act as shoes by themselves.

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Double Bonus!!!

Here’s a video (my first serious attempt at video editing!) of the dressing process!

The Next Step…

Ever since I passed my teacher’s license exam in May, I’ve been thinking about what my next step should be in this kimono journey. I really enjoy and am fascinated by the process of weaving, but when I am honest with myself, I don’t have enough time to become anything other than a beginner weaver, and that skill will have limited use to me outside of Japan.  Sewing, however, would be very useful. After all, how many times have I found a kimono that I love only to find that it’s a few centimeters too short, or the yuki is slightly too short. Usually something is too short. And I already know how to sew using western methods. So with some nervousness, I went to my first wasai lesson over the weekend.

My teacher is the same woman who granted me my teacher’s license. She has an incredible history with kimono. She has studied with multiple schools of kitsuke and passed exams for all of them. She knows how to sew kimono and has been doing it for forty years. She is also a master weaver. Her weaving teacher was a contributor to the nishijin-ori scrolls depicting the Tale of Genji. Overall, she has more knowledge in her little finger than I could ever hope to achieve in a lifetime.

She also doesn’t speak English; which means these lessons won’t only be good for my sewing skills, but also my Japanese skills.

The first lesson was really trying to get familiar with the different tools and terms that are used for wasai. My teacher gave me sets of different sewing needles, all different lengths and widths, and all used to sew different types of fabric. long thin needles are used to sew silk, short, thicker needles are used to sew tsumugi, and somewhere in between is the needle used to sew cotton. I was also introduced to all the tools of wasai including their unique iron, marking tools, scissors, and rulers. A lot of my teacher’s tools were high quality bamboo, ivory, or metal and had lasted her for over forty years. I’m hoping mine will last me that long as well.  Once I get the money to purchase such high quality items.

Five different types of needles, all for sewing different types of fabric.  I only know what three of them are for at the moment.

Five different types of needles, all for sewing different types of fabric. I only know what three of them are for at the moment.  Study time!

The measurements used for wasai are very different too. After WWII, Japan changed to the metric system, but before that, they used their own unique measuring system, which my teacher still uses for wasai.  In fact, she told me that I’m not allowed to use centimeters in her lessons, so I have to learn REALLY fast!

The smallest unit is called a gori.
Two gori are equal to one bu.
Ten bu are equal to one sun.
Ten sun are equal to one shaku.
Ten shaku are equal to one jyou.

Jyou are still in use today to measure the size of tatami mats.

This is my bamboo ruler.  Traditional measurements are on the top, and centimeters are on the bottom.  Gori are not indicated on the ruler.  The distance between each line indicates one bu.  One sun is shown with the longer lines.  The circles indicate 5 bu.

This is my bamboo ruler. Traditional measurements are on the top, and centimeters are on the bottom. Gori are not indicated on the ruler. The distance between each line indicates one bu. One sun is shown with the longer lines. The circles indicate 5 bu.

Measuring rulers come in two different sizes, one shaku or two shaku. My rulers have shaku/sun/bu as well as centimeters, but my teacher’s tools only have the old system. Imagine my confusion when she started adding up measurements in a  system I just learned, and in Japanese. My head was spinning!

I was asked to bring a few kimono that were too small that I wanted to resize. I ended up bringing three. A yukata, an awase tsumugi, and an awase houmongi. I thought the yukata would be the easiest to resize since it’s cotton and only one layer. I also thought that the houmongi would be the most difficult to resize since the pattern extends over the seams. I was wrong on both counts.

Turns out that the only resizing that needs to be done on the houmongi is the yuki, so the pattern on the skirt won’t be affected at all. We decided to tackle that kimono first. My homework was to unstitch the sleeves, and the top half of the side seams. One thing we discovered was that the seams were originally sewn with a sewing machine. This made it very difficult to take out the stitching. The combination of tight machine stitches and delicate silk made for a few mishaps and small rips in the silk despite my best efforts. It’s just the lining so far, but I’m not finished yet, so I have my fingers crossed. It definitely makes me appreciate hand-sewn kimono more.

The yukata we decided to leave until last. It’s too small in every way that it could be too small. I knew that when I bought it, but the seam allowances looked large enough that I thought I could make it bigger. Well, the seam allowances are smaller than expected and it will require major surgery to make this yukata wearable. We decided to insert a gusset to make it wider and longer. The gusset will be hidden by the obi when I’m wearing it, but it will be very, very visible on the hanger.

So, my homework for my next lesson is to rip apart all three kimono, iron everything as flat as I can make it, and study all the new terminology that was thrown at me during the lesson. And I’m very sorry about the lack of photos in this post. I simply forgot to take any during the lesson. I was to busy and occupied with everything else!

 

Kodai Yuzen Experience

Back in April, I went to Kyoto to experience several traditional crafts, including yuzen dyeing. There were a couple of places that offered it, but honestly, neither of them are true yuzen dyeing. It takes years of experience to get to that level. I chose Kodai Yuzen simply because I liked their designs better.

I’ve actually been struggling to write this post ever since. I wanted to write one post that would describe the process of yuzen, and my experience trying it out, much like I did with aizome. However, because it wasn’t a true yuzen experience, I found that I couldn’t connect the two. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a fun experience, but it really doesn’t tie into the true process of yuzen. So, I’ve decided to treat this post as more of a review of a Kyoto attraction than a post about the process of yuzen.

 

To start off, we phoned to make reservations and was pleasantly surprised to find that they offered English language support. We showed up and were surprised and excited to discover a true yuzen artist working on a kimono in the waiting area. His stand was incredible. The kimono was stretched over our heads in three different layers and the artist could move the fabric to any place that he chose. The area where he worked had a heat source underneath to dry out the fabric. It was incredible watching him work as we waited.

The artist's workstation.  It's a great shot of his dyes, and his heat source.

The artist’s workstation. It’s a great shot of his dyes, and his heat source.

The structure used to hold the bolt of fabric.

The structure used to hold the bolt of fabric.

A close up of the detail work.

A close up of the detail work.

The artist himself!

The artist himself!

Once our appointment time came around, we were shown into the workshop. It was a large room with a private class happening in the back corner. If I lived any closer, I would want to take this weekly class that teaches you genuine yuzen techniques!

We got to choose our item, and then the design. And there was a huge variety of designs to choose from. I chose a tumbler.  We were also able to customize our designs to a certain extent. For example, I didn’t like the black leaves that were originally on the pattern I chose. I was able to change them to blue. I just had to keep track of which stencil piece the leaves and hair were on and only use the black on the hair pieces.

Our base fabric was laid out on a board and secured with tape. Then two reference points were marked on the board to line up all the stencil pieces. Each piece was laid out, we were given a brush with the correct color, and got to work brushing in the dye. Honestly, when I was looking at my progress, I wasn’t that impressed. After the last stencil I was starting to doubt it. It looked like blobs of color that only just resembled my original design of a woman in a juni hitoe. But then, magic happened. The gentleman helping me placed one last stencil on with white stuff on it (sorry, I can’t think of a better way to describe it), scrapped it over the stencil, and suddenly, everything was outlined in white and looking beautiful.

My chosen design with the fabric secured to the board.

My chosen design with the fabric secured to the board.

One of the stencils

One of the stencils

Hard at work!

Hard at work!

Half finished.

Half finished.

The final step was to apply white paste to mimic the white lines that are a characteristic of yuzen.

The final step was to apply white paste to mimic the white lines that are a characteristic of yuzen.

The final product, signed by the artist of course!

The final product, signed by the artist of course!

Was it fun?  Yes.  Was it yuzen?  No.

It’s up to you if you want to experience it.  And it does make for a really unique and cool souvenir.

Kyoto Shibori Museum

We arrived at the Kyoto Shibori Museum on a rainy afternoon. The first thing the master did when we opened up the door was to hand us all towels to dry off. It was a sign of good things to come!

We had booked ahead for our shibori experience. There were two choices. A scarf would require folding and clamping techniques while a furoshiki (wrapping cloth) would require winding and knotting. We all chose the furoshiki class. We were led into the classroom and to our pleasant surprise, the teacher offered to do the whole class in English!

We had twelve designs to choose from. Each one already had the stitching in place.

If you look carefully, you can see the threads already stitched into the furoshiki.

If you look carefully, you can see the threads already stitched into the furoshiki.

Six would be completely our work, and six had hari-hitta shibori knots pre-tied in them.  We all chose designs that included hari-hitta shibori.

My furoshiki came pre-tied with hari hitta knots.

My furoshiki came pre-tied with hari hitta knots.

The hari-hitta shibori knots pre-tied in my furoshiki.

A close up view of the hari-hitta shibori knots pre-tied in my furoshiki.

We also had to choose the colour of dye we wanted, red, blue, or purple. Our guide mentioned that all the shibori dyeing done in Kyoto was done with silk fabric. Cotton dyed with shibori (including yukata) was always produced in Arimatsu. Finally, we started. Everything was already stitched into the fabric. We had to pull, wrap, and tie off the threads. We were taught how to do two different techniques.

Hira Nuishime Shibori

This technique involves stitching along a line and then pulling the thread tight.

that type of shibori

Hira nuishime shibori pre-dyed and post-dyed.

My final hira huishime shibori knots.

My final hira huishime shibori knots.

Kasamaki Shibori

This technique involves stitching around the shape you want to create, pulling the thread tight, and then wrapping the threads around the cone of fabric several times.

Kasamaki shibori

Kasamaki shibori pre-dyed and post-dyed.

My completed kasamaki shibori.

My completed kasamaki shibori.

We got to use a shibori stand when we did our work. It’s basically a base with an arm holding a piece of metal that has been bent in on itself. The space is large enough to let untied thread through but it will stop a knot from passing through. We used it for all of our shibori tying. I had heard that a lot of shibori is done by machine now, and when I asked about it, our guide explained that yes, it is done by machine, and the shibori stand is the machine. Without it, a person can tie 300 dots per day. With the “machine” a person can tie 3000 dots per day. Mind blown.

All three of us working with our shibori "machines"

All three of us working with our shibori “machines”

Once the tying was done, it was on to dyeing. We had each chosen a different colour, so when we got downstairs, there were there vats of dye bubbling away merrily on the stoves. We were given GIANT chopsticks and told the keep the cloth moving until the timer went off.

Me and my giant chopsticks!

Me and my giant chopsticks!

Double, double, toil and trouble!  Fire burn and cauldron bubble!

Double, double, toil and trouble! Fire burn and cauldron bubble!

Rinsing off the excess dye.

Rinsing off the excess dye.

After rinsing, we passed off our furioshiki to be dried and went on a tour of the museum.

hon-hitta shibori knots, the ultimate level of shibori tying.  Using a stand, an artist can tie 3000 knots in a day.

hon-hitta shibori knots, the ultimate level of shibori tying. Using a stand, an artist can tie 3000 knots in a day.

We got to experiment with taking out the shibori stitching after the dyeing is complete and we got to see several different examples of different techniques.

Practicing pulling apart the knotted threads.

Practicing pulling apart the knotted threads.

We also got to try on full shibori furisode. All three of us have experience putting on kimono and were able to do it ourselves. Our guide commented that it was the first time that he had never had to help a visitor get dressed. I think he was quite amused.

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The wall hanging behind us is completely done in shibori.

The final step was to take out the knots and reveal the patterns. Our guide told us to cut off the knots, but not to pull on any of the threads yet. Once all the knots were cut off, magic happened!

I think the Kyoto Shibori Mueseum was one of my favourite activities from my weekend in Kyoto. It gave me a whole new appreciation for shibori products and I’m very temped to go back and do it again. I’d love to learn more and try to do shibori on my own. The English language support was an unexpected and priceless bonus. I also have to thank our guide for taking so many great pictures of our experience.

Their website is here and they recommend that you call ahead to make a reservation, especially if you would like the class taught in English.  Their website also has an incredible amount of information on different types of shibori. The scholar in me was drooling over it.  Rest assured, this will not be my last post on shibori!  I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of it yet!

 

 

Kitsuke Sensei

For some reason, I announced this on my facebook page, but I forgot to mention it here.  How I managed that, I’ll never know.  So here it is.  Drum roll please!  Last month I received my license as a kitsuke sensei from the Nishi Nihon Wasoukai, a small school based in Kobe.  In order to pass the exam, I had to dress in kimono and obi in under five minutes (I finished with seven seconds to spare) and complete a written exam.  I had a lot of help in preparing for my exam and I want to send a warm and heartfelt thanks to all that helped me (you know who you are).  I’m looking forward to the challenges that are to come with this new title!

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GirlGamerGaB

I have a good friend named GirlGamerGaB.  She’s a big fan of Japanese horror games and does Let’s Plays of them on her youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/GirlGamerGaB/ She specializes in playing horror games in Japanese (some that have yet to be released in English!) and translating them as she goes.  She recently got some visitors from home and they all wanted to be dressed up in kimono.  Of course, I was happy to help!

Displaying the kimono for the girls to choose from.

Displaying the kimono for the girls to choose from.

Choosing obijime and obiage.

Choosing obijime and obiage.

GirlGamerGaB in a kurotomesode.

GirlGamerGaB in a kurotomesode.

Having some fun with an antique wagasa.

Having some fun with an antique wagasa.

This is a three-crested irotomesode.

This is a three-crested irotomesode.

Checking out the musubi in the back.

Checking out the musubi in the back.

The only furisode of the day.  I love this colour!

The only furisode of the day. I love this colour!

I had to do a quick review of the fukurasuzume musubi the night before!

I had to do a quick review of the fukurasuzume musubi the night before!

All three girls enjoying their kimono experience!

All three girls enjoying their kimono experience!

We all had a great time choosing kimono and obi and getting dressed.  I only wish that they weather had cooperated a bit more.  It was raining all morning, but as soon as they had to get undressed and I had to go to work, the sun came out.  Typical.

Don’t sweat the small stuff!  But if you’re interested, check out my facebook, twitter, and instagram for the small, spur of the moment ideas, articles, and activities that I find and do related to kimono!

http://www.facebook.com/readysetkimono
http://www.twitter.com/Readysetkimono

http://www.instagram.com/readysetkimono