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Kimono Showcase: Naomi’s Pregnancy Kitsuke

Many of you may be wondering how you can still wear beautiful kimono when pregnant. Indeed, it may seem challenging to achieve an elegant look with a baby bump, especially since the kimono is supposed to present a slim figure.

Hence, we are delighted to have Naomi – from ‘Naomi no Kimono Asobi’ – show us that it’s actually rather easy to look splendid in a kimono throughout pregnancy: all you need are a few simple tweaks in your kitsuke!

Her kitsuke at 9 weeks 

Naomi didn’t have a bump in this early stage of her pregnancy, but she did not feel comfortable with anything around her waist. Hence, Naomi adjusted her kitsuke by tying the juban and obi just below her bust instead:

Naomi at 9 weeks in a full ro ensemble, with just one tweak to her kitsuke.

Naomi found this to be extremely comfortable, with the bonus of achieving a high-waisted, Taisho look.

Here, Naomi is dressed in a full ro ensemble, featuring: a ro Taisho era purple lily komon, ro Taisho era mandarin duck juban, ro Hakata obi, and ro embroidered haneri.

Her kitsuke at 15 weeks

It was love at first sight for Naomi with this Taisho meisen komon, even though it was far too short for her to wear.  Her growing belly also made it impossible to achieve even a small ohashori in the kimono.

Instead, Naomi modified her kitsuke by using a safety pin and adding a lot of padding under the bust. She also kept her collar higher than usual due to the length of the kimono.

Naomi at 15 weeks, with a slight baby bump

I’m sure you’ll agree that Naomi looks gorgeous in this outfit – and the numerous compliments she received that day are no surprise!

Her kitsuke at 27 weeks of pregnancy

By this stage, Naomi’s juban no longer wrapped around her as much as it previously did, and her himo and datehime were significantly shorter than before.

As she did from the start of her pregnancy, Naomi tied the himo directly under her bust. She also wrapped her sarashi over the kimono bra and around her belly for additional support – which made Naomi feel extremely comfortable. Naturally, she also had to double the padding used to fill the gap between her bust and belly.

To achieve this beautiful otaiko, Naomi used a ‘biyosugata‘ – which some describe as a ‘magic obi aid’. In fact, Naomi thinks that this should be every pregnant woman’s best friend!

Her kitsuke at 30 weeks of pregnancy

In this later stage of her pregnancy, Naomi decided to go for something bolder instead and opted for this eye-catching number:

This tachibana meisen kimono is exceptionally wide and long for a Taisho meisen, which suited Naomi’s figure perfectly. She also needed a haori for the cold weather, and went with this shibori haori from her collection which best suited the ensemble.

Throughout her pregnancy, Naomi found kitsuke to be rather easy. In fact, Naomi mostly did kitsuke as per normal, apart from a few adjustments in finding kimono, juban and himo that fitted her growing figure.

As you can see, Naomi’s pregnancy kitsuke looked quite effortless, so rest assured that you’ll be able to look as stunning in a kimono as always while pregnant – Naomi most certainly did!

 

If you now feel that you want to share your pictures as well, just send us an email to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com with what you would like to showcase here or just directly send your pictures with some background information.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or just directly subscribe (see bottom left of this site) to this blog to not miss any news, showcases or events!

 

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Kimono Showcase: Midori’s new year

Today we feel really honored to present our first (and hopefully not last!) Kimono Showcase of Midori Fuji, one of the people with the highest drive to spread kimono culture around the world.

If you live in England, you might consider yourself lucky, as you have the chance to learn kitsuke (the art of wearing a kimono) directly from Midori herself.

She is a well known kitsuke teacher and also sells kimono, kimono accessories and Japanese tea in her free time. And with free time, I mean the time that she is not using to travel around the world to talk about kitsuke and other Japanese culture related topics.

If you are in Valencia around March, you may see her there, as she is giving a kitsuke class to the Japanese Bugei group in Europe (bugei = martial arts) there. She’s also going to bring some of her finest kimono and tea products, which you can exchange for some Euros with her. She’s also invited by the South American bugei group to promote her kimonos, kitsuke and Japanese Culture in Brazil, although there is no set date for her to go there yet.

Today’s showcase:

Midori went to Japan for her new year’s. For her, it’s the most important time of the year which she wants to spend with her family and friends.

As it is tradition, she went to shrines and temples to pray for health and happiness, as well as picking an omikuji. Omikuji are a kind of fortune lottery ticket which you pick one randomly, hoping for something good to be written on it. Alas, it can be bad as well.

Omikuji_in_Kamakura

The highlight of the new year’s eve is listening to the Joyanokane (除夜の鐘), the new year bell, getting hit 108 times.

For January first, she stayed at a friends house, who served Osechi-ryōri (お節料理), the traditional food for the day after new year’s eve.
Midori Osechi
For the occasion, she was wearing a formal houmongi with her house crest (mon) and a fukuro obi with fan, pine, bamboo and plum flower motifs.
After eating the wonderfully prepared osechi, she headed to the Kansai international airport with two heavy suitcases packed with new kimono for her kitsuke students and other European kimono lovers.
In this year she has quite a few trips planned already for kitsuke events and the for teaching how to do the Japanese tea ceremony correctly.
If you are interested in kimono in lessons with Midori or just asking her random kitsuke questions, you can directly mail to midorigarner@gmail.com

If you now feel that you want to share your pictures as well, just send us an email to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com with what you would like to showcase here or just directly send your pictures with some background information.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or just directly subscribe (see bottom left of this site) to this blog to not miss any news, showcases or events!

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Kimono Showcase: Octavia’s Maiko photoshoot

Today’s Kimono Showcase is definitely a special one, as it is the first one with a person dressed as a maiko!

Octavia sent us her beautiful pictures to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com and we just can’t keep them stashed away. The world has to see them!

The really wonderful thing is that she is wearing an antique kimono which has been used by a real maiko before. As if that wasn’t enough, she actually has photos of the maiko wearing her kimono! Now that’s something not everybody has in their kimono collection.

Hello KimonoGeisha 🙂

My name is Octavia Gordon from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.
I thought I would share with you some photos I had taken from a Maiko san photoshoot in October last year.
It has always been a dream of mine to dress up in the attire of a Maiko. I have been studying the Geisha culture for many years and over the course of about a year, was able to put together a full Maiko ensemble. Most of the Maiko items I have collected are real including a hikizuri* kimono that was once worn by Maiko of Gion Kobu, Kyoto.
I have photos of the kimono being worn by a Maiko in the 1958 Miyako Odori program. The kimono ensemble is Autumn themed. Including the kanzashi which is the first year Maiko Chinese bellflower (kikyo). The hairstyle I wore was the wareshinobu. I also wore the real makeup a Geisha uses.
The photoshoot was held in the spring time Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand by the Pakowhai bridge. The location was perfect with all the sakura trees in blossom at the time. The photoshoot was definitely a dream come true for me. To be able to dress up like a real Maiko has been a dream come true 🙂

*hikizuri kimono are extra long kimono, which trail along the floor, usually worn by performers like geisha or maiko, but also used in kabuki

Octavia Showcase  7Octavia Showcase 1

 

Octavia Showcase 3

 

Octavia Showcase 4

 

Octavia Showcase 5

Here are two photos from the 1958 Miyako Odori program of a Maiko wearing the same kimono:

1958 Miyako Odori program of a Maiko

 

1958 Miyako Odori program of a Maiko

 Thank you so much Octavia! We hope to get more pictures for our Showcase from you in the future! 🙂

If you now feel that you want to share your pictures as well, just send us an email to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com with what you would like to showcase here or just directly send your pictures with some background information.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or just directly subscribe (see bottom left of this site) to this blog to not miss any news, showcases or events!

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Kimono Showcase: Yvonne’s Kimono Journey Part 2 – Kyoto – Arashiyama/Kinkakuji/Ryōan-ji

Episode 3.2 of our Kimono Showcase together with Yvonne

Part 2 of Yvonne’s kimono journey will bring us to Kyoto and some of its most beautiful places, after we have seen her go to Asakusa and the Imperial palace in the last episode.

She actually stayed there for two days and therefore had a chance to take pics in two kimono in many different places.

First stop: Kinkakuji

Ah yes, one of the two absolute “must-see” places in Kyoto. The Kinkakuji is a golden buddhist temple in the northwest of Kyoto and one of the most famous attractions of Kyoto, or maybe even of Japan. It’s surrounded by a small lake, which itself is surrounded by a lovely park, which itself is already worth a visit.

For this day, she decided to wear a pink furisode kimono and a fukuro obi which had embroidery of Kinkakuji on it, although the detail unfortunately can’t really be seen on the pics.

Kinkakuji1

Kinkakuji3

Kinkakuji2

Getting stoned at Ryōan-ji

Let’s not stay too long at Kinkakuji, as I think it’s already well known amongst every Japan tourist and his dog, so let’s focus on a little bit lesser known places, which doesn’t mean that they are less interesting!

Stone gardens can be found in a lot of parks, castles, temples and so on, around Japan. Probably one of the most well-known is located in the “The Temple of the Dragon at Peace“, or Ryōan-ji (龍安寺). Established in 1499, Ryōan-ji is a Zen temple in the northwest of the city of Kyoto in the municipality Ukyō.

The garden consists of a surface (30 by 10 meters) of fine gravel with a just 15 seemingly randomly placed stones in 5 mossy groups. From no point in the garden all 15 stones are visible at the same time. The surrounding wall has been built with oil-soaked mortar. Over the centuries, the oil from the stone has leaked and has left a characteristic pattern on the stone.

Ryoanji

Ryoanji2

Run Forest, run!

Alright, enough with the bad puns. You might have figured that the next location has something to do with a lot of trees. Not normal trees though, it’s the bamboo forest of Arashiyama. Arashiyama has a bit more to offer: Kameyama-koen Park, the Tenryu-ji Temple, the Okochi-Sanso Villa and many other things. But the bamboo grove surely is the main attraction.

Arashimaya

Arashimaya2

 

Kyoto in motion

If you want to see more of the just mentioned places in and around Tokyo, take a look at the following two videos. If you didn’t absolutely want to visit Kyoto before, you will definitely after watching.

 

We’re not done yet with Yvonne’s journey in Kyoto! Keep your eyes open for the next episode in Kyoto and our last episode in Osaka & Nara.

If you now feel that you want to share your pictures as well, just send us an email to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com with what you would like to showcase here or just directly send your pictures with some background information.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or just directly subscribe (see bottom left of this site) to this blog to not miss any news, showcases or events!

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Kimono Showcase: Yvonne’s Kimono Journey Part 1 – Tokyo

Episode 3.1 of our Kimono Showcase together with Yvonne

For our small Kimono Showcase series, we welcome the lovely Yvonne and her trip to the essential places to visit in a kimono in Japan:

Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka!

She came all the way from Singapore to Japan for her winter holidays with her boyfriend and made it her mission to visit all the important places, teach her boyfriend some basic kitsuke and, most importantly, wear her furisode kimonos everywhere!

The basic kitsuke her boyfriend had to learn for her were some basic musubi knots, which are impossible for her to tie on herself. He happily obliged, became a good student and knotter(?) and made this wonderful kimono tour possible!

The first stop of the kimono journey: Tokyo

Basically everyone travelling to Japan sooner or later makes a stop in Tokyo. For her, it was the first stop of her trip and her first chance to wear her pink furisode with a wide stretching crane pattern. She actually got that one for a steal: Just 500 Yen! Sometimes, you can get really lucky with second-hand kimonos!

She visited the Imperial Palace, just around the corner of Tokyo station, which features not only the rest of the burned down Edo castle, but also very beautiful gardens and high walls, which both make for a good photo scenery. She was also lucky, as the mild autumn and winter allowed lots of the trees to still have their colored leaves. She was even luckier, that she could hear a speech of the Japanese Emperor for his birthday. Happy belated birthday, Akihito!

About the visit of the Imperial Palace in her own words:

Got my picture candidly snapped multiple times by journalists. The pics were taken in the East Gardens. There were a ton of happy obasans around who came up to chat. One of them rushed up to us and whispered hurriedly to me that my boyfriend’s kimono still had a price tag hanging off the bottom. Erm, oops. She helped us to cut it off! An ojisan also came up to us and humorously pointed at my bf’s feet exclaiming “Are these geta?!?” (he was wearing normal shoes since we couldn’t afford geta). The ojisan then complimented us and strolled away, haha.

To explain, obasan and ojisan literally translate into grandma and grandpa, but are often used as term for “old woman” and “old man”.

Imperialpalacefurisode

pinkfurisodeimperialpalace

 

Pink Furisode Palace

Autumn Furisode pink

 

Next, her path led her to Asakusa, a part of Tokyo which is famous for the Asakusa-jinja, a shinto shrine, as well as the Sensoji, a buddhist temple. It’s kind of a touristy spot, but there’s definitely a reasons for it! Both, the temple and the shrine, are absolutely worth a visit. Together with the possibility to have some food and drinks outside, which you won’t find in too many places in Tokyo, it is a “must visit” in the Kanto area. It also serves as a beautiful background for pictures in a kimono! Who would have thought?

Pink Furisode in Asakusa

 

Take a look at part two of Yvonne’s wonderful kimono journey! There’s lots of things to see and lots of kimonos to wear!

If you now feel that you want to share your pictures as well, just send us an email to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com with what you would like to showcase here or just directly send your pictures with some background information.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or just directly subscribe (see bottom left of this site) to this blog to not miss any news, showcases or events!

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Merry Christmas from Kimonogeisha.com with Christmas kimono ideas

Taking a short break for ourselves and therefore being a bit late, we still wish wanted to wish you Merry Christmas!

We are looking back to an eventful year for our small team of Kimonophiles, as we finally restarted Kimonogeisha again.

We hope you are having a wonderful relaxing time together with your family. Maybe you were even wearing a kimono for Christmas? If not, we might have a couple of Christmas kimono ideas for you:

christmas kimono 1Why not become the Christmas tree yourself in this kimono?

christmas kimono 2Or rather go for the “Santa’s little helper” Christmas kimono style.

Christmas ObiA Christmas obi, more than just appropriate for Christmas time.

Christmas kimono 4Ho! Ho! Ho! Where are my presents? Or just hand over this kimono plus obi!

Did you go to the Kimono Christmas Party around Tokyo Tower on December 19? If so, just send us an email with your review of the event to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com!

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Kimono Showcase: Katrina and her chrysanthemums ensemble

Episode 2 of our Kimono Showcase together with Katrina and her blue tsukesage

Katrina was so nice to offer us pictures from a recent shooting for our Kimono Showcase.

About the kimono and the obi

For this shooting, she opted for a chrysanthemum theme which is in the patterns of her kimono and her obi.  Her kimono was an antique blue tsukesage from the Showa era with a letter chest, a flute and chrysanthemums in its pattern. She paired this tsukesage with a pale gold obi with tortoise shell and chrysanthemum images. In addition she decided to wear pink accessories, as blue and pink is her favorite color combination.

She already had the obi for years, but only recently acquired the kimono.

About the shooting

The pictures were taken at the Toledo Botanical Gardens. As they were experiencing some mild weather, they spontaneously decided to take advantage of that for a late-fall photo shoot.

 

The shooting

Katrina in blue tsukesage

Katrina in blue tsukesage 2

Katrina in blue tsukesage 3

Katrina in blue tsukesage 4

Lots of love and a big thank you to Katrina for these lovely pictures! If you want to know and see more of Katrina, you can visit her Facebook page Kokeshi Kimono!

If you now feel that you want to share your pictures as well, just send us an email to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com with what you would like to showcase here or just directly send your pictures with some background information.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or just directly subscribe (see bottom left of this site) to this blog to not miss any news, showcases or events!

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Kimono Showcase: Sändi’s gifted “coming of age ceremony” komon

Welcome to our new category: The Kimono Showcase!

In this category, we will everyone the opportunity to show their kimono, yukata or related cosplay pictures from events, shootings or just while wearing them casually.

Today we feel honored to start our new category with the fabulous Sändi, also known under her nickname kitsune_13 for alternative modeling.

She brought along a komon that originally was the coming of age ceremony kimono of her friend Hideki’s mother. Sändi and Hideki have been friends for over 20 years and as she was visiting Japan in 2007, she received it as a gift from Hideki’s mother. Normally, the kimono would have been passed on to the wife of Hideki. But as Hideki is still unmarried and at the time, no Mrs. Hideki was in sight, and because his mother knew that Sändi loves wearing kimono, she decided to give it to her as a present. With the kimono also came a tanuki fur stole which you can see in some of the pictures.

As Sändi felt so honored by this present, she decided to do a photoshoot in the komon kimono and send the pictures to Hideki’s mother.

Should Hideki every marry, Sändi has planned to hand the kimono over to his wife.

About the komon kimono and the accessories

Although from far the kimono looks like an irotomesode, it’s actually a komon. If you look closely enough, you will see the pattern which forms a kaleidoscope up close.

The fur stole was once a forest roaming tanuki (Japanese for raccoon dog or mangut, 狸). The special “sandals” used here, which are known as pokkuri (ぽっくり, also known as okobo おこぼ or koppori こっぽり), were bought from an old shop in Kyoto. Pokkuri are traditionally worn by maiko who have just started their apprenticeship. Red straps signify that the maiko has just begun with her apprenticeship and yellow straps signify that she is almost done.

Sändi’s best guess is that the kimono, the obi and the tanuki fur stole (which all came together as a present) are all from around the World War 2 era. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many people who still have over 60 year old clothes lying around, at least outside of Japan. Considering the age, the condition of the kimono is absolutely amazing.

About the shooting

Hair and make-up were done by Sändi herself. Obi styling was done by her husband.

Photographer: Michael Barrick

 

The shooting

With the tanuki fur stole

Sändi with tanuki fur stole red

Sändi with tanuki fur stole yellow

 

Showing off the obi styling

Sändi showing her obi

Sändi showing her obi 2

Playing with the fan (called hiougi 檜扇)

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Just playing around

Sändi playing around

Sändi playing around 2

 

And a great finish!

Sändi playing around 3

Thanks and lots of love to Sändi, who was willing to open our new category with her amazing antique komonkimono!

If you now feel that you want to share your pictures as well, just send us an email to bepartof@kimonogeisha.com with what you would like to showcase here or just directly send your pictures with some background information.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or just directly subscribe (see bottom left of this site) to this blog to not miss any news, showcases or events!

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Be part of Kimonogeisha.com!

four geishas

 

You have a kimono or Japan blog?

yukata 6

You love wearing kimono and practice your kitsuke regularly?

Kitsuke is serious business!

You have been to a fashion show in Japan?

Hata Toki Fashion Show 10

You just want to share your experiences and pictures?

furisode gyarus

Become part of Kimonogeisha.com!

We are now open for submissions from kimono fans from all over the world. You can get your name out there and draw eyes to your own blog/twitter/facebook-page, by sharing your stories, your knowledge, your pictures here on Kimonogeisha.com

Possibilities for participation are:

  • Become a kimono-scholar – Share your special knowledge here for everyone to see
  • Share your stories – Tell your favorite kimono related story, write a review about a kimono dressing class or show us your pictures from a fashion show in Japan
  • Want to be a filmstar or director – Do you have videos from kimono events? Do tell! And we will make sure that many people see them and know who made them
  • Be creative! – What’s your idea? We can discuss everything and we will find a way to share what you have to say!

Always included is, of course, mentioning YOU as author, together with a link and shoutout.

Contact us and send us your ideas to:
bepartof@kimonogeisha.com

Be part of the (soon ^_^) largest kimono portal out there!

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Hata Toki kimono fashion show – Hata Tokio’s legacy

Hata Toki is the niece of the famous Yuzen designer Hata Tokio (羽田登喜男), who was considered a living national treasure in Japan. Used Hata Tokio kimono are still being sold for several thousand dollars each, which says something about how badly people want them and about the quality of their designs and patterns. Really good example can be found here, which you can buy for the small amount of $72.000!!! And this might already be a discounted price, so don’t waste your chance. Just take a look at the wonderful details and you will understand why this is something special:

Hata Tokyo kimono 1

Hata Tokyo kimono 2

Hata Tokyo kimono 3

 

Luckily Hata Tokio’s niece picked up the family tradition and is designing her own kimonos. Probably selling them for a bit more affordable price. While you can’t compare them to the masterworks of Hata Tokio, you can clearly see that Hata Toki has talent.

Hata Toki Fashion Show 1

Hata Toki Fashion Show 11

Hata Toki Fashion Show 12

Hata Toki Fashion Show 10

Hata Toki Fashion Show 9

Hata Toki Fashion Show 8

Hata Toki Fashion Show 7

Hata Toki Fashion Show 6

Hata Toki Fashion Show 5

Hata Toki Fashion Show 4

Hata Toki Fashion Show 3

Hata Toki Fashion Show 2

For more information, check out the official website of the Hata family. There you can find out about Hata Tokio’s eldest son, who also became a designer of kimono and is definitely close to achieving the same quality that made his father once famous.