Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kimono loot

OK, as everyone knows, I went to Japan and bought way too much stuff. Most of it was kimono, and most of the weight came from the autumn/winter stuff that I wasn't supposed to buy (because I live in SINGAPORE for heaven's sake, but I haven't given up on taking these things back to Japan to wear because I'm sure one day I'll visit it in December). Here they are.

yukata and hanhaba obi from Gion
yukata and hanhaba obi from Gion, Kyoto

I wanted a yukata that I could wear well into middle age, since I won't have all that many opportunities to wear this kind of stuff. This particular set looked like it fit the bill.

little obis
The first three are hanhaba obi, and the mint wug one is for yukata.

I thought I'd stock up on hanhaba obi because they're super versatile and not so much bound by tradition that you can't make your own creative knots and be called out on it. The yukata obi at the bottom was actually quite expensive and a complete accident; I was walking about in Asakusa and when I saw it lying there in a shop I HAD to have it.

The retro obi right at the top was secondhand and turned out to be the cheapest at 860 yen.

autumn kimono
Obtained at the temple flea market at Toji. The Nagoya obi was even more expensive than the wug yukata obi, but I liked it so much I went back for it in the end.

I like owls and stripes. I think you can sort of tell.

winter kimono
Bought at a hole-in-the-wall secondhand kimono shop and at an open booth in Toji flea market.

This particular kimono was the main culprit for making my luggage go over the weight limit.
Together they must weigh over 3 kg.
I actually don't think I'll take away the lining of the winter kimono -- it's just nice as it is, and it feels fantastic when I pull it on. I'll keep it for when I go back to Japan in winter, and then wear a turtleneck underneath (with thick heat-tech tights and fancy boots)!

summer kimono
Summer kimono and obi. It's hard to gauge sizes when you're outdoors and there's no changing room.

This is my favourite obi of the lot. It's made of a thick, stiff shantung with the flowers painted on. I'm only allowed to wear it with unlined kimono for late spring till early autumn, which is absolutely no problem for me.

vintage yukata and nagoya obi
Vintage yukata and Nagoya obi.

On top of being obligingly breathable, summer kimono is supposed to make onlookers feel refreshed just by looking at the wearer. That's why water motifs and cool colours are so appropriate. I like water motifs, myself. Just look at the details of this wonderful obi.

close-up and details

Altogether, they cost rather a lot of money. ;_; I don't begrudge the cost because most of these garments were painstakingly handmade by craftsmen and artists who also have to eat. If only the black gauze kimono hadn't been too small -- it had been my favourite, too.

Singaporean though I might be, I'll find a way to wear them somehow. Maybe one day I'll organise a Taisho tea party!

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