The Twelve Days of Kitsuke (12): fukura suzume part 2 (with biyosugata)

On the twelfth day of kitsuke my musubi will be, fukura suzume part 2!

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Sodo Kimono Contest

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 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 furisode competition.

The women's tomesode competition.

The women’s tomesode competition.

The women's casual competition.  The judges are examining their obi.

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 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!

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.

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.

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 I think they're from Indonesia.

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.

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.

Lining up the eri. All the competitors had to turn to the side to avoid flashing the judges.

Adjusting the ohashori.

Adjusting the ohashori.

tying the obiage after putting on the obi.

Tying the obiage after putting on the obi.

One final check before going to the judges.

One final check before going to the judges.

Second person to finish!  This is my other friend, the only man in the foreigner competion.  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!

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!

Getting interviewed.

Being interviewed.

Getting interviewed again.  It's really nerve wracking and easy to forget your Japanese when EVERYONE is looking at you!

Being interviewed again. It’s really nerve wracking and easy to forget your Japanese when EVERYONE is looking at you!

Getting the obi judged.

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 obi!

Kiku (chrysanthemum) obi!

Momo/peach blossom (I think) obi

Momo/peach blossom (I think) obi

 

Finally, the results.

Guess who got first place in the foreigner's category?  CONGRATS!

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!

She’ll get to go onto the national competition in Tokyo next year. Good luck!

The is the kimono queen, the grand prize winner of the contest accepting her prize.

This is the kimono queen, the grand prize winner of the contest accepting her prize.

 

 

 

Koto Concert (AKA: A Plethora of Kimono)

A friend of mine (and fellow kimono enthusiast) has been studying the koto for two years and had a concert today with her group.  Not only was the music great, but the kimono…sooooooo beautiful!  Most of the ladies were wearing houmongi, but one woman was in an oshima tsumugi and the other was wearing a gorgeous shibori kimono (maybe oshima, I didn’t get close enough to see her kimono, but the colour is right).

My friend is currently practicing for a kimono dressing competition next month.  She’ll have 8 minutes to completely dress herself in a furisode, create a fukurasuzume musubi (plump sparrow bow) using a biyosugata, and put it on.  Today was a great opportunity for her to practice and her group was impressed with the results.  So much so that when they introduced all the members of the group, the announcer made a point of saying…

“This is nani-nani-san.  She is from America.  She has been studying koto for two years.  Today, she is wearing her own kimono and she put it on herself.  (Audience: eeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiii!!! Sugoi!) Please stand up and show everyone!”  My friend then had to stand up and turn around for all to admire.

Just one more note before I show you the pictures, Japan has very strict privacy laws.  If I don’t have the person’s permission, I have to block out any identifying features which is why all the faces are blocked out.  I only have my friend’s permission.  And with that being said, enjoy the plethora of kimono I got to see today!

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All the ladies dressed to impress

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My friend with the younger members of the group and the sensei.

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Playing the koto like a pro!

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This was one of my favourites. I love how the green haneri stands out against the cream kimono.

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The sensei of the group playing the shamisen.

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A gorgeous shibori kimono.

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I love the way the obi and kimono go together in this ensemble.

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Drool. Drool. Drool.

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The flute player wearing hakama. He was the only man in the group.

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A gorgeous oshima kimono and haori set.

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The otaiko of one of the obis. The first time the audience saw this obi, everyone (including me) was oooooing and aahhhing.

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A very unique way of tying the obijime.

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Her kimono from the front. Her group always insists that she wear a furisode because she is the youngest adult member.

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And her obi from the back. I think she did an amazing job.

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An alternative peace sign to show off the “pickers” (Sorry, I don’t know the proper name for them). She told me that they have to dip their fingers in egg white before putting them on so that they’ll stick to their fingers.

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I wish I could have worn a kimono to this event, but the sad truth is that I overslept that morning and didn’t have enough time to dress.