New Obi! Lovely but difficult to adjust...

My new Princess Violet obi sash by freehand Yuzen dyeing artist, Yogestu Ozaki.
The motif of this sash comes from a classic literature in 11th century,
The Tale of Genji ( Genji Monogatari =>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_Genji ), the story of a prince Genji and tons of princesses he loved.
Princess Violet is the youngest princess he loved. She was look alike his one-side lover, his step mother, Emperor's 2nd (or 3rd?) wife.
This sash's motif is the moment Prince met Princess Violet. She's just shown behind the blind chasing a bird.
Why Princess Violet? The reason is here. princess-violet-is-me

This sash is too wonderful to tie. Because it is very difficult to show the bird on the top and her hair at the bottom together. And also, Yogetsu kindly put GENJIKO mark on tare, at the end of the sash. It's easily misaligned!


Shamisen Japanese Banjo Live in a Traditional Red Light District

Every Friday night, my Shamisen masters perform at a bar in Arakicho Shinjuku. I and my Shamisen classmates enjoyed last Friday’s session together.

Arakicho used to be a kind of red light district. The street was narrow and winding. Around here, not only the bar they performed, you also can find a bunch of tiny and nice Japanese style dinners and bars. Do you wanna visit Arakicho? I will guide you!

The music charge of the Shamisen performance is 1500yen ($13) per person. She said her Japanese style hair-set costed 10,000yen... I am worrying how she can afford it.


My First Shamisen (Japanese Banjo) Recital

I started Shamisen Japanese Banjo class from this spring. I had expected to get mroe opportunity to wear Kimono with Shamisen class, but nobody wore Kimono at the class... I disappointed...
But please see! at the recital, we played as if we were National Orchestra!

Today's Kimono
Edo Komon (stencil dyeing) kimono
Shioze hand write dyeing sash with Japanese musical instrumentals motif
Pale pink silk kimono under
Pale pink collar
Violet sash scarf
Violet and silver sash belt

I made Edo Komon kimono which I had admired for a long time for this recital. And I coordinated musical instrumental motif sash for it. What a nice combination! I know I couldn't play Shamisen as nice as I looked. Please wait for until next year's recital. Oh, but what I shall wear next year!!!


The best performance in the world at Kabuki theater

Today is my birthday! I went to see Kabuki with the best seat in my life. 10th low from the stage!

Tamasaburo (Go Wikipedia.en ") acting geisha prostitute Akoya was really really wonderful. He danced, sung and played 3 instrumentals with Japanese style big band. Japanese harp Koto, Japanese guitar Shamisen and Chinese guitar Kokyu. As everybody admits, he is genius. Born to be Kabuki Oyama (actor of female roles).
Tamasaburo Akoya

I think he is the best actor in the world because I have never heard about Broadway star who can dance and sing as well as play three different type of instrumentals (piano, violin and base...!?).

Get Tamasaburo Akoya DVD from amazon.co.jp. You can buy it in English when you click English button on the right of the top.

Today's Kimono
Gauze silk summer oshima tsumugi (pongee fabrics) kimono
Gauze silk summer sash with fan and dragonfly motif
Pale pink silk kimono under
Violet collar
Violet sash scarf
Violet sash belt

I was a bit disappointed to find few Kimono in Kabuki Theater. Not about the actors but the audiences...


Under the Tuscan Sun with Kimono

I traveled Toscany Italy. My tale of Genji sash and the tower of Colle di Val d'Elsa didn't mismatch, did they? Since both of them were born in Middle Ages.

I rode a bike in Kimono in Italy! This was my first time to try. If my grandma had seen me biking, she might have been so scared out!


A love poem from 1000years ago

My new summer sash has just arrived. Sent by freehand Yuzen dyeing artist, Yogestu Ozaki.
The motif of this sash comes from a classic literature in 11th century,
The Tale of Genji ( Genji Monogatari =>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_Genji ), the story of a prince Genji and tons of princesses he loved. The tale has 54 chapters, each chapter title is coming from each princess's name.

This sash's motif is Yugao (Twilight Beauty), the princess sent a fan to the prince Genji. On the fan, there were a love poem she wrote and beautiful white glories.


Now It's the summer kimono season!

We wear lined kimono with winter sash until the end of May and are permitted to wear single kimono and summer sash in June and in September. July and August is a season for silk gauze kimonos with summer sash.
This is severe Kimono regulation and no matter how hot in May (especially these global warming days!), if you wore single kimono with summer sash, a member of committee of Kimono discipline (usually old nagging ladies) walk to you and warn.

Now June starts. This is my June style. Do you like them?
Single silk komon(dyeing) kimono
Gauze silk summer sash with fan and dragonfly motif
Violet cotton and hemp kimono under
Violet collar
Rose and orange silk sash scarf
Violet sash belt

Thanks for your comment, Satoai-san. I found this gray/white lattice kimono at a famous antique kimono collector Ms. Shigeko Ikeda's shop in Tokyo. This is the only one she praised me although I had tried tons of kimonos!


Princess Violet is me

Genji Monogatari
Somebody asked me about my Kanji character meaning for my name.
My name Shino 紫乃 is coming from a classic literature in 11th century, Genji Monogatari. The story of the prince Genji and princesses he loved. 紫乃上 Princess Violet is the youngest princess he loved because she was look alike his step mother, Emperor's 2nd (or 3rd?) wife. It’s a complicated story to explain all because the literature is very long! and the Prince Genji loved so many princesses. In 11th century, there was no monogamy regulation in Japan.
OK from now on, please call me princess Shino or princess Violet. And tell me the meaning of your name!


Kimono requires non gorgeous, non-sexy body

Kimono is only tighten by strings and a sashIn Japan, April is the beginning of the new academic year for schools. My Kimono class also started in april. I STUDYed how to wear Kimono. I confess I could not wear Kimono by myself. Please don't laugh.... Because how to wear Kimono is very difficult, Japanese do not wear them so often and become to forget how to wear.

Another reason of the declining the usage of the kimono is... Kimoto fits the waist-less, flat-chested body. If you have contoured glamorous body, it is better to wear in western style.

I have a nice body for Kimono. Now I have got to know how to wear kimono. But still I can’t tighten Obi Sash by myself. It is the most difficult part. I want double length arms and soft shoulder joint to tighten Sash on my back!
Sashes are around 4m 13feet long!