Kimono Diary October 12-18, 2015

What a week! It seems that my weekends are becoming busier than my weekdays, and this weekend was no exception.

Saturday=Shichi-Go-San

Yes, shichi-go-san. This past weekend, and for three weeks in the future, I’ll be volunteering at a local photo studio dressing children for shichi-go-san. I’ve mentioned my practice sessions in past kimono diaries, but this weekend I got to put those lesson into use. My teachers and I dressed kids from as young as one year old, all the way up to ten years old. Yes, it’s traditional for only three, five, and seven year olds to get dressed, but when you have a sibling as well, lots of parents want to have pictures of their kids together.

For the really little babies, I got a big surprise looking at the kimono that they wear. It’s actually two pieces that look like a completed kimono and hifu combination when they’re on. The bottom half is just a skirt with an elastic waistband. Really, really convenient for dressing a squirming, crying baby!

And boy, was there crying. I was actually expecting them to cry when they saw me (the foreigner) especially the really young ones, but that didn’t seem to be the thing that set them off. It was things like not liking the feel of tabi on their feet, being around too many strangers (not just me), and being forced into the third outfit of the day by their over-eager parents (they had tiny suits and costumes as well as kimono).

The oldest girl we dressed was a ten-year-old girl (her younger sister was seven). For young girls, kitsuke is different from adult kitsuke. For example, the collar sits right against the neck instead of being pulled back, and a shigoki goes around the bottom edge of the obi. However, when a girl turns ten, she begins dressing like an adult, so these features change. We were constantly checking with each other if we should do certain elements like the child version, or like the adult version when we were dressing her.

Sorry, there are no pictures of this part of my weekend.  Restrictions on privacy and all that.  However…

 

Sunday=Aki Matsuri

And you thought matsuri only took place in the summer! Aki matsuri (autumn festivals) are very different from summer ones. The gods are taken from their home temple in a portable shrine to another temple or shrine nearby. They’re accompanied by drums and gongs either pulled or carried by a group of men.

My husband was invited to carry the band along with about forty other people. This presented a conundrum to me, to wear kimono or not to wear kimono. I decided to wear kimono, and chose a fancier yukata that I wore with a juban. Since it was still so warm, I didn’t want to wear a fully lined kimono, and I didn’t want to stand out any more than I already do.

Then, just as I had finished getting dressed, a different aki matsuri passed right by our apartment, and not a single person was in kimono. That fact, combined with the fact that I had no idea how long or far I would be walking, meant that I decided to undress and change to western clothes.

And I’m kinda glad I did. The festival ended five hours after it started, and there was nowhere to sit down, except on the ground, something that I was reluctant to do in jeans and t-shirt and would not even consider doing in a kimono!

And the matsuri was wonderful. Lots of sake and snacks for people participating in it, kimono worn by the priests that looked like they came out of the Heian Era, and lots of people to talk to. I had a ton of parents pushing their children in front of me to practice speaking their English. This brought on reactions ranging from “No way!” (said in perfect English) to kids begging me to become their English teacher at school and promises to come back next year.

My husband had a tougher time of it. He was a part of the carrying team, and he’s several centimeters taller than everyone else there. He just couldn’t find a comfortable position to carry a large log on his shoulders without stooping and hurting his back and his sides. He told me as he laid down that night, “It hurts when I live!”

Before the pain started!

Before the pain started!

 

You can see the portable shrine in the front of the procession.

You can see the portable shrine in the front of the procession.

My husband's attempts to find a comfortable position.

My husband’s attempts to find a comfortable position.

Food and sake!

Food and sake!

The musicians.  They were so cute!

The musicians. They were so cute!

I love the way they tie up the sleeves on the furisode so the kids can play during the breaks.

I love the way they tie up the sleeves on the furisode so the kids can play during the breaks.

Even the priests get to enjoy the sake and food.

Even the priests get to enjoy the sake and food.

That’s all for this week. Happy kitsuke!

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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!

Kitsuke Dressing: The Performances

One yukata.
One kendo set.
Two men’s kimono.
Three hakama.
Six women’s kimono.
Ten obi.
Fifteen chances to dress people in kimono.
Hundreds of himo, korin belts, tabi, and other accessories.

This has been my life every Saturday and Sunday for the past three weeks.  I wrote about this experience earlier here.  Basically, the foreign community in my area put on an annual English musical, and this year I was the official kimono dresser.  I raided my kimono closet to dress ten people in kimono.  Five of those people I had to dress twice during each show, with the shortest turn around time being two minutes.  It was exhausting, stressful, but a also a great experience that I’d love to do again.  It was great experience in dressing others, and I got really fast at it too!  I just wanted to share some of the photos that various people took during the past few weeks.

Working on tying hakama.

Working on tying hakama.  I was half dressed myself when people started to finish with their makeup, so I had to stop dressing myself and start dressing everyone else.

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She's so small I have the opposite problem to what I usually have, too much fabric!  I have to tie the waistbelt around her ribcage for the ohashori to end up in the right place.

She’s so small I have the opposite problem to what I usually have, too much fabric! I have to tie the waistbelt around her ribcage for the ohashori to end up in the right place.

The Daimyo and his bodyguards.  I had to learn how to tie a hakama pretty quickly to dress these three.

The Daimyo and his bodyguards. I had to learn how to tie a hakama pretty quickly to dress these three.

I love those hakama!

I love those hakama!

Four of my kimono people.  The three ladies I dressed in eight minutes just before this photo was taken.  The hems are a mess, but I'm happy with the collars!

Four of my kimono people. The three ladies I dressed in eight minutes just before this photo was taken. The hems are a mess, but I’m happy with the collars!

Celebrating after a successful show.

Celebrating after a successful show.

These are only a few of the photos I have.  The rest of them are on my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/readysetkimono

Kimono Dressing

I’m exhausted.  I’m beat.  I’m ready for an early night.  But instead, I’m sitting up writing about what I did all weekend, because I’M PUMPED!!!!  Why?  Because I’ve been working with kimono all weekend!

I took a break from my license practice in order to volunteer my time.  Every year, the English teachers in my small Japanese town put on a musical in English.  This year, they did Frozen, but with a Japanese twist.  While most of the main characters have their own unique and recognizable style, a lot of the side characters had to have their own costumes designed and created.  The story has been changed to take place in Japan, and to convey this fact, we raided my kimono closet to put together costumes for many of the side characters.  And a few of the big ones too!

the whole cast fully costumed.  It's a mix of western, instantly recognizable, and kimono.

the whole cast fully costumed. It’s a mix of western, instantly recognizable, and kimono.

The only big characters that I get to dress are the Count of Wesseltown, but in this case, he’s been changed to the Daimyo of Osaka (with Obaka being the mispronounced version of his home!).  He and his bodyguards wear kimono and hakama, and I had to learn hakama dressing in order to get them dressed.  Prince Hans has experience with hakama and gave me a crash course this morning on tying them.  Everyone’s hakama stayed in place during the performance, so I was very pleased!

The Daimyo of Osaka/Obaka (in the gold and black hakama) and his two bodyguards.

The Daimyo of Osaka/Obaka (in the gold and black hakama) and his two bodyguards.

Despite my lack of knowledge on hakama kitsuke, the men are the easy ones for me.  They get dressed before the curtain goes up and they never change costumes.  The women on the other hand, all have to be dressed in kimono, take the kimono off for a costume change, then put the kimono back on.  And some (most?) of the costume changes are really, really, fast.  On three separate occasions, I have six minutes to get two ladies dressed completely in kimono, two minutes to get one lady dressed, and about eight minutes to get three ladies dressed.  I’m exhausted by the end!

I’ve also gotten creative with my kitsuke to make it as quick as possible.

1. For anybody wearing a polyester kimono, I’ve sewn in a ohashori.

2. I taught everyone how to tie the obi makura in place and how to tie the obi age.  While they’re doing that, I can fiddle around with the otaiko at the back.

3. Anybody with an exceptionally quick costume change must have on their padding and eri sugata underneath their other costume.  It gives a bit of a hunchback look, but not something that is too noticable on stage.

The two maids in their matching kimono.  One of these ladies I have to get into kimono, obi, and apron in two minutes flat.

The two maids in their matching kimono. One of these ladies I have to get into kimono, obi, and apron in two minutes flat.

One of the party guests in her kimono.  She's one of the three that I have to get dressed in eight minutes.

One of the party guests in her kimono. She’s one of the three that I have to get dressed in eight minutes.  She’s so short, I actually have the “problem” of having too much fabric to work with! 

Another party guest.  And another lady that I have to get dressed in eight minutes.  I love her headscarf.  She brought in three that could match and took a survey of the cast.  This one was the winner.

Another party guest. And another lady that I have to get dressed in eight minutes. I love her headscarf. She brought in three that could match and took a survey of the cast. This one was the winner.

after all the frantic action of the day, it was really nice to come out and see that the ume blossoms have finally started to come out!

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And I just want to apologize for the poor quality of the photos.  My phone doesn’t take nearly as nice photos as my actual camera.

If you want more information on the musical, they have a website with lots of info on past performances at www.ajetmusical.com

They also have a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AJETMusical?fref=ts

 

Thanks for reading everyone!  This between this musical and my license practice I haven’t had any spare time to blog as much as I want to, but my schedule will lighten up late next month so expect some exciting things then!  Thanks!

Aizome (藍染) Indigo Dyeing Part Three

Welcome to the third and last post in this series on aizome (indigo dyeing).

For the first post in this series, on the process of creating the dye, check here.

For the second post in this series, on the aizome museum near my home, check here.

The entrance to Ai No Yakata.

The entrance to Ai No Yakata.

When you first enter the museum Ai No Yakata (藍の館), you have the option of buying something to dye. They have a range of products starting from handkerchiefs at 500 yen to scarves at 3000 yen. After that, you enter the museum and find the building that houses the dyeing facilities. If you’re not sure which building it is, just follow your nose. Aizome dye has a distinct, fermented odor that is very, very, strong.

When you go in, you put on an apron and gloves, choose your design, and away you go!

There are eight different designs that you can choose from.  The staff will help you to create your design.  I choose number five.

There are eight different designs that you can choose from. The staff will help you to create your design. I choose number five.

Here's my handkerchief being prepared for the dyeing.  I had to wrap it around a stick and secure it with a rubber band.

Here’s my handkerchief being prepared for the dyeing. I had to wrap it around a stick and secure it with a rubber band.

All ready to go!

All ready to go!

The first dip.  each dip took one minute.

The first dip. each dip took one minute.

My handkerchief just after the first dip.  It looks green right now, but it eventually turns blue when it gets oxidized in the air.  I had to squeeze out all the extra liquid and wait for one minute before dipping it back in.

My handkerchief just after the first dip. It looks green right now, but it will eventually turn blue when it gets oxidized in the air. I had to squeeze out all the extra liquid and wait for one minute before dipping it back in.

This is after the third and final dip in the dye.  It's a lot darker than it started and definitely looks more blue than green.

This is after the third and final dip in the dye. It’s a lot darker than it started and definitely looks more blue than green.

The next step is to rinse the handkerchief under running water to get rid of the extra dye.  When the water runs clear, you know you're finished.

The next step is to rinse the handkerchief under running water to get rid of the extra dye. When the water runs clear, you know you’re finished.

A little modern technology here in the form of a spin dryer to help get all the extra water out.

A little modern technology here in the form of a spin dryer to help get all the extra water out.

While my handkerchief was spinning, I spotted this picture of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako doing their own aizome.

While my handkerchief was spinning, I spotted this picture of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako doing their own aizome.

The final step is ironing.

The final step is ironing.

The final product!

The final product!

Textiles that have been dyed with aizome have a lot of characteristics attributed to them. At the moment, I have no idea which ones have been proven scientifically and which ones are just folk knowledge. According to Mark Wisniewski in his book Dyeing To Dance, the benefits of aizome include…

  • Aizome can prevent skin irritations, athlete’s foot, and infertility (I’m pretty sure that last one is an old wives tale).
  • Aizome can protect against insect infestations and the bite of a mamushi (a poisonous snake).
  • Aizome has antiseptic and disinfectant properties that make it good for preventing colds (just the seeds), treating poisoning by blow-fish, or using indigo dyed cloth as a run of the mill bandage. It’s also effective in the treatment of insect bites.
  • Aizome can act as a sedative so it is a popular dye for futon and bedding material.

I’d be really intrigued to see how much truth there is in each of these claims.

 

 

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

 

Aizome (藍染) Indigo Dyeing Part Two

Welcome back! This is the second post in a series of three about aizome, indigo dyeing. If you missed the first part about the process of making the dye, check out the post here. This post is about the aizome museum that’s about 30 minutes from my house.

The museum is called Ai No Yakata (藍の館) and it’s located in the town of Aizumi, Tokushima.

Aizumi.

Aizome.

Aizumi.

Aizome.

Connection? I thought so, and I asked the locals about it (Thanks Jen!). Mukashi mukashi (a long, long time ago) there were two towns in the area called Aizono and Sumiyoshi. Aizono was the home of indigo dyeing. When they combined the towns, they took the ai (藍) from Aizono and the sumi (or zumi 住) from Sumiyoshi and put them together to get Aizumi (藍住 translates to “the place of indigo.” The first kanji means “indigo” and the second kanji means “to reside”)

The museum itself has several different areas.

First, there is a modern museum that houses the admission area, the gift shop, and different textiles dyed with aizome.

I apologize for the all the glare from the camera flash by the way, Taking photos was difficult.  

A gorgeous antique houmongi dyed with aizome.

A gorgeous antique houmongi dyed with aizome.

I was absolutely drooling over these obi!

I was absolutely drooling over these obi!

An antique futon dyed with aizome.

An antique futon dyed with aizome.

Second, there is a lovely, traditional Japanese house on the property. This house was the home of the Okamura family and it was built in 1808. The Okamura family was one of the original ai-shi (sukumo or indigo dye makers) and dyers. The business originally started in the late 1600’s and focused on making the dye only. However, in the early 1800’s, the sixth generation of the family decided to expand the business. He set up subsidiaries in other parts of Japan, but kept the headquarters in Aizumi. He also expanded the business to include brewing sake. In the Meiji era, the company also expanded to Tokyo, however this expansion coincided with the introduction of cheap chemical dyes to Japan and resulted in a decline in business. Finally, in 1989, the buildings and property were donated as a museum.

Statues representing the steps of creating aizome.  In the background, you can  see the original family home.

Statues representing the steps of creating aizome. In the background, you can see the original family home.

The family home is not the only original building on the property. There are three other original buildings that were used for creating the sukumo (indigo dye). They still have their uneven, packed dirt floors, and you can really feel the history behind them. Nowadays, they are used for exhibits. One houses small dioramas outlining the process of aizome from planting the indigo, to dyeing the cloth. One houses some of the old tools used in the process and has some sumuko that you can examine. Finally, there is a building that is rented out the local artisans to sell their wares. When I was there, there was a woodcarver who had set up shop. He even had some pieces that had been dyed with indigo, including a table!

A miniature diorama of kasuri dyeing.

A miniature diorama of aizome dyeing using a stencil.

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Examining sukumo

Examining sukumo

A full table dyed with aizome.

A full table dyed with aizome.

The last building on the property is more modern. It’s a facility where people can do their own aizome dyeing. For more on that, check out the last post in this series, here.

Ai No Yakata’s Japanese only website can be found at

http://aizome-tokushima.jp/?mode=f4

 

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