Are you living in Kobe and are still free this Sunday? Because if so, you shouldn’t miss this event!
The kimono group “和だんすごっこ” (Wadansu gokko, which roughly means: get-together to dance in traditional Japanese clothing) organizes a big kimono flea market / bazaar, together with a multi-cultural exchange event. Something you shouldn’t miss, especially from this group.
This group is actively promoting Japanese culture, especially the tradition of wearing a kimono (the right way!), towards other Japanese people and foreigners visiting or living in Japan. Their activities range from shootings in kimonos at beautiful sightseeing spots, organizing kimono parties, to organizing kimono wearing lessons. Although I was informed by them, that participation is exclusive to students of the Kobe University and their family. Let’s take a look at some of their previous activities:
But back to the event on November 16th: The event is held at a place called “Fukae Hall”, close to the Hanshin Fukae station or the JR Konanyamate station. The following map should be useful:
If you need the full adress for your navigation device, here you go:
Beginning is 10:30, so you better get up early! It already ends at 15:30, so there is enough time. Could be hard for some people, who prefer to sleep in on a Sunday though. But I surely would set my alarm extra for this event a bit earlier than normal!
You can follow the group on Twitter as well. Their account is called @wadancewadance
I hope lots of you find their way there and enjoy what this great group has prepared for you in Kobe, which has more to offer than just Kobe beef!
The event will be held at a location called “The Place of Tokyo“, which is right in front of the Tokyo Tower. This is what the party room will look like:
Dresscode for women is obviously a kimono or at least some traditional Japanese clothing. For men, tradidional clothing is encouraged, although a formal suit should be acceptable as well.
The event includes a kimono themed fashion show and even a present exchange! So I guess, you should bring a present that wouldn’t embarass you, if you hand it over to a random other guest. Although you have to register separately for the present exchange. If you decide to do so, you are advised to bring a towel. Why? Honestly, I have no idea and there is no further information about it. Although we have learned from a certain book, that it’s always important to bring a towel.
The price for this event is 10000 yen (~100 dollars) for women and 11000 yen for men. This includes food and drinks. Seems like a fair price for an event like this in such a location.
On November 8th and 9th, the 4th Kimono Méli-Mélo Marche (キモノめりめろマルシェ) was held in Kawagoe, at the FukuFuku Kimono Store. Kawagoe is roughly a 50 minute ride away from Shinjuku, therefore easily accessible for every Tokyo-jin (Tokyoites).
It is an event for small boutiques and kimono lovers, who want to showcase their handmade kimono and lots and lots of accessories. “Méli-Mélo” is french for “jumble” or “mishmash”, which is very fitting, as the event is open for everyone, to basically show everything that is related to kimono or wafuku.
Hundreds of kimono fans followed the invitation to take a look at the kimonos and accessories of the 21 participants. Even some of the well known kimono showers that you often see retweeted from our friends of Dailykimono.
Even a fashion show for kimono was held, with lots of young models, showing different styles of kimonos, ranging from Furisode to Homongi. Especially the colorful furisode kimono were and eyecatcher with their colorful patterns and long sleeves. Just take a look for yourself!
If you want to learn more about the participants, take a look at the participants list. Even though everything is in Japanese, you might find interesting pictures from the event and/or accessories for your kimono! The event itself even has a twitter account, where you can find lots of pictures from the event and additional information.
Sadly we have no information about when this event will be held again, but you can be sure that we will inform you as soon as possible.
Popular question: “What’s the difference between kimono and yukata?”
Talking about kimono, we often hear the question “What is the actual difference between a kimono and a yukata?” It is a valid question, because for the untrained eye, it is often hard to distinguish one from the other. To clear this up once and for all, we would like to answer this question here in detail.
As we all now by now, both are a type of traditional Japanese clothing which is worn by women. In the past, both were worn for everyday activities. Recently, they mostly see the light of the day for festive activities. Sometimes you can see women dressed in yukata and kimono at the same time. But how can you actually distinguish them?
1. The fabric
Yukata are most of the time made of cotton or other lower quality materials. The main material for kimonos is usually silk and therefore has a much higher quality than yukata materials. This also explains the big price gap between yukata and kimono. This is not true for all cases, as you may find yukata made of silk, but it serves as a good guideline.
2. The lining
This is an easy one. Yukata never have a lining, as they are not supposed to be used in cold weather. Kimono may have fur lining or lining made of other materials. So if you see fur sticking out somewhere, you can be sure that it’s a kimono!
3. The collar
Another rather easy one and a clear sign: A yukata only has one collar, while a normal kimono has at least two collars. Minimum two collars are the collar of the kimono and the collar (or multiple) of the undergarment, that is worn under the kimono. This undergarment is called juban. Multiple juban can be worn at the same time, depending on the kimono and the season/temperature. Additional collars called “eri” (襟, えり, collar) may be worn between the kimono and the undergarment. These additional collars have very elaborate patterns and can cost up to $500 dollars, depending on what materials are used and how detailed the pattern is.
Juban are never worn under a yukata, therefore you should only see one collar.
4. The sleeves
Kimono can have short to very long sleeves, which may reach the ground. Best known example for these kinds of sleeves are furisode kimono. Yukata never have sleeves longer than 50cm/20in.
Take a look at the following picture with to see a good example of two J-girls (gyaru-style) wearing something that can only be a kimono, because of the sleeves (and for many many other reasons).
5. The footwear
If you are seeing any socks, then most of the time you are not looking at someone wearing a yukata. Kimono are worn together with white socks, although other colors might be used for style/design reasons. Yukata are worn without socks, although young people sometimes might add socks with funny motives or colors, to break the traditional style and add their own flavor. Another good reason to not wear socks is point 6 in this list.
Geta worn with socks typically point to a kimono.
Without socks definitely means yukata. Kimono are never worn without socks, but you may wear socks with a yukata if your feet are always cold. Also note that the geta in this picture are very modern, but definitely no unusual sight these days.
6. The season
Yukata are exclusive for warm weather or for wearing them at home. Hotels and ryokan often hand out yukata for usage inside of the rooms. There also exist yukata which for guests at onsen and public baths. Nobody ever wears a yukata in cold weather.
Kimono on the other hand, are made for every season. There are additional jackets with fur and special undergarments for winter, to keep the wearer warm and cozy.
7. The occasion
Kimono can be used from very formal to casual, while a yukata is never formal. The differences in formality of kimono stem from the material, the style, the patterns, the design and the color application techniques. Each have their own degree of formality and often only one single use.
8. The decoration and patterns
In the past, kimono and yukata could easily be distinguished by the motifs, the decorations and patterns. While kimono had very elaborate and detailed motifs, yukata had large-scale floral and colorful motifs. Kimono had more dark colors sharp contrasts and simple patterns, while yukata sported bright colors.
Do you feel like you tell apart kimono from yukata now?
With the 8 points of distinction that we gave you, you can most of the time easily tell if you are looking at a kimono or a yukata.
If you still can’t, I am sure you are going to enjoy this short video from the girls of Kawaii Lesson. They are absolutely awesome at explaining everything Japanese and Japanese vocabulary. A must see!
Video special about the kimono from Jotaro Saito at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in Tokyo
Our German kimono loves might have already seen it, but the German news site Tagesspiegel.de has uploaded a video about kimono at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in Tokyo. The fashion weeks are held during October this year, showing what’s hot and what’s not for next year.
As the video is lacking subtitles, here you can find a translation of the transcript:
A kimono: Typical japanese. Yet, at the fashion week in Tokyo this is an extraordinary sight. Quote Rei Hamada, model: “Normally we choose Western clothes, because they fit to us – according to our taste. But with kimonos, it’s the other way around: First comes the kimono, and we have to adjust so that suit to it. It’s not a piece of clothing that places the individual self in the foreground. “
Model Rei Hamada was discovered at the age of 13 years… Today she is 29 and is working for the designer Jotaro Saito and Sansai, who are known for their kimonos in Japan. For the fashion designer there are few models who can wear kimonos. Quote Jotaro Saito, fashion designer: “You have to be elegant to wear a kimono, have sex appeal, and the eroticism that is inseparably connected with it. I select only models who can express these feelings. Just as with the way how to walk in them. For this you need experience. And you can not have this experience if your modeling career is just beginning.”
In Tokyo, although it is not unusual to see women in kimono on the road, most of them are older. Inspiring the young women again for the kimono – this is the dream of the designer.
Want to know more about Jotaro Saito and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo?
If you want to know more about the kimono designers Jotaro Saito and Sansai Saito, you can find their official page here: JOTARO SAITO
Here we are again, Japan and Kimono lovers, as well as Geishas in spe! We are finally reopening!
Kimonogeisha.com moved to its new webspace and we started the redesign, as well as adding new content, to become your favorite kimono portal in the web. Our goal is to provide you with all the basic information about kimonos, yukatas, geishas and Japan in general. If it’s just the question “What is a kimono?”, up to “What is the difference between a furisode kimono and a uchikake kimono?” – you will find all the answers here!
You will also be able to find the historical background, beginning from the Heian period, through Edo-times up to our modern day. The kimono style has developed through time and we will be your guide through this exciting history.
As kimono aren’t really “easy to put on” clothes, you will find kimono-wearing tutorial pictures and videos. Keep your eyes open for our kimono-related Japanese 101 lessons, or do you know what 着物 and 浴衣 mean? (Hint: Kimono and Yukata!) In the end of the day, we want you to learn something about Japan and it’s rich kimono fashion culture.
After the content is transfered, we will reopen our shop again, to provide you with wonderful handmade kimonos and handmade yukatas. We already have several tailors waiting to show you their lovely patterns and designs, which range from classic to very modern. As always, our kimonos will be shipped directly from the tailors in Japan, so you get absolutely original and unique kimonos of the highest quality. Watch out for one time offers and unique patterns, which will only be available for one kimono.