2009/10/22

Japanese Empress’s Kimonos

I am not a crazy fan, and not a protester of Japan’s royal family, just I like watching her kimonos. All of them are state of the art. All Japan’s kimono crafting techniques are concentrated. The artisans were young and their golden age when they made these kimonos for her. And now, they are retired and have few successors.

This book is just published and how lucky, I found a magazine introduced some of the pictures. Let’s take a peek!

The Empress Michiko-sama's Kimonos

2009/10/12

Which kimono I should wear to see shogun’s wife’s kimono…?

To see wives of shogun samurai generals' kimono (kosode), I visited the exhibition “Art of the Tokugawa shogunate and the end of the feudal age” in Yokohama. It will be until Nov 23th.
October is difficult season for kimono. It’s regulated as awase with liner, but still hitoe no-liner is comfortable. So I wore thin wool komon and put tuzure obi. Wool and cotton are always tailored as hitoe no-liner and we can wear them throughout the year. (and also, it's washable!)
This tuzure obi has good kaku status (I believe) so, I think this ensemble is good for appreciation of shogun familie’s stuffs. Actually, this tsuzure obi is very heavy because it is handwoven and thick. It always slide down…
I was a bit disappointed only one kosode was displayed at this exhibition. Even though, it was really beautiful full embroidered yuzen dyeing so worth to see it!

photo:小袖浅葱縮緬地松竹梅桜菊網干模様友禅染繍伝和宮(静寛院宮)所用 19th century, Tokugawa Memorial Foundation

2009/10/02

World-Class Kimono Expert Amazed Tokyo

Finally I could meet Berber Misuchi from Netherland. A queen of kimono kitsuke blog. She was amazing. What else I can say!? She was invited by Cultural Exchange Institute and made a speech. She talked about her history and challenge collecting kimonos and its information. I have never seen a person studying how to wear kimono only from a book. Other Japanese attendees neither. Her kitsuke, coordination and kimono manner were perfect. We (most of them were guide-interpreter) were just amazed and deeply impressed to hear how kimonos were loved by her.

A kimono magazine’s editor who attended the meeting said Berber was a real yamato nadeshiko from The Netherlands, (Yamato nadeshiko is "woman who displays the feminine virtues of old Japan" by Jim Breen), because Berber wore kimono so nicely. She also said "Berber reminded us the beauty of kimono and depth of kimono clothes." I totally agree!
(After the speech, she was like a star!)

I had known her as Misuchi on kimono blog who posed like a kimono model. Real Misuchi Berber was so charming and her body movements in kimono were really graceful. Thank you Berber, it was great honor for me to arrange such an exciting intercultural session!

At Ikeda antique kimono store. We went Roppongi, Shibuya and Meguro in kimono.