How to get a sexy kimono appearance from behind

I read a book of Tamao Nakamura, who has been an actress over 50 years. She also married with a famous samurai movie star and director Shintaro Katsu until he died.

In her kimono book, she gave us tips of how to wear kimono sexy, as she showed on a TV advertising. Please see the movie from here. (Sorry, sipping noodle is Japanese traditional manner. Please do like this when you come to Japan.)

She suggested that when we wear kimono, we must adjust kimono center straight on our backbone. But under the waist, it is better to slide the kimono center 4-5cm (1-2 inches) to the left or right whichever we like. If we do like this, the kimono buttocks back shot becomes three-dimensional and looks sexy.

Really? I have never heard of this. Will try next time.

For your reference. Another kimono books with many photos.


International Kitsuke Session

For kitsuke session at my house, a Slovenian woman magazine writer Nika attended.

First, she tried my pink tsumugi.
Although she was slightly bigger than me, it seemed kimono size was fine!

And then she interviewed another attendees about kimonos in their everyday life. How they got kimonos etc.

It is great pleasure for us telling about kimono abroad. I am sure Nika would write nice article about kimono!


International Kimono Meeting 2

We visited a kimono rich house. She opened her, her mother's and her grandmother's tansu dresser to show kimonos handed down through the generations to us, two British and one Japanese, me.
This type of traditional Japanese house, tatami mats covers all floors and fluorescent white lights at the ceiling are decreasing. It is special opportunity to visit this type of Japanese house (for me also)
After the visit, international kimono meeting again!
Photo by Lyuta
Soon the meeting became kitsuke kimono wearing session.
This stripe kimono Maggie wore was so called kimono shitagi which wore under hikizuri kimono. It might be a geisha costume. I saw this type of kimono for the first time!


International kimono meeting 1

After Berber from the Netherlands and I went to kabuki costumes exhibition,
For this exhibition's details, please see here
we had a first international kimono meeting at Japanese dinner!
We met Kimono Magic for the first time. Kimono dressmaker Lyuta made us to meet. Thank you! These blond kimono ladies have 200 kimonos each. I, black hair only have 20... How they find storage space???


Sushi and kimono on my birthday

Encouraged by Rie, I wore kimono for the first time for this summer. Well, it becomes September, but still it is summer in Tokyo.
I wore asa hemp kimono and Hakata hanhaba (half width) obi sash since it was my birthday and we went out for sushi restaurant!
I tie my hanhaba with the way which seems like otaiko musubi (formal form). I recently found how to tie like this in a book and really like this obi musubi since it is easy and looks authentic.
(On the photo, the edge of otaoiko is rolling up...mmm) 

Since I was crazy for eating sushi, I forgot to take a photo of sushi and kimono of this night! Below is another sushi and kimono. But it was last winter. Winter is the best season for both sushi and kimono.  


How to protect your body from summer heat

This summer, because of record-breaking heat wave, I couldn't wear kimono at all. Instead, I wore a fan(s) shirt which send wind to your back directly and cool off.

If you would like to see details, click here. On the right shoulder of the page, you will find "see in English" link.

It is a good idea to remove fans from the shirt and put these fans inside of obi. Since they are removable and the shirt is washable. You also need to connect battery box to fans but it is small enough to insert obi.

I did so last summer, since it was only around 30 Celsius, but this year, the temperature almost hit 40C ( 100F)...omb! (Oh my Buddha!)

But my kimono mate Rie was different. she said she wore kimonos in this summer for her health, since kimono protect her from artificial air-conditioning. She must be right. I will wear kimono next summer, for sure, if it is not so hot...

How she looked cool! in Akagi tsumugi with specially twisted weaving and Yaeyama ramie sash. Both were light, thin and cool.

She tightened her white wearing with nasukon eggplant-like deep blue. This is cool, too.


Learn from a kimono senior

To our kimono kitsuke club, a special guest came. Mrs. Arita, who has lived near my house over a half century and loves kimono.

Although she didn't wear kimono because of her injury at a leg,  she helped our wearing and gave us lots of tips of kimono coordination and seasonality. It is always fun to listen how seniors did.

Next kitsuke club will be held at her house. There is a beautiful tatami Japanese room with a fireplace for tea ceremony. Japanese embroidery hanging scrolls she hand-sewed are on the wall. We can't wait to see her kimono and obi collections!


Let's become a kimono savvy

I assisted a kimono lecture for interpreter guides who would like to explain more about kimonos to foreign tourists. Lecturer Satoko, whose mother is also a kimono lecturer, wore special sibori tye-dyeing kimono from her local town (I forgot the name but it was so beautiful!)

Audiences were quietly and seriously listening (this is typical Japanese manner) during the lecture part; kimono category, kaku status and history. However, when the question and answer session started, they were completely changed. Some of them brought uncertain origin kimonos and obis from their grand mothers. What these motifs are? Can I wear this, when and how? Is this OK for my age? How can I coordinate these???

On next lecture in June, we will make longer this family's old kimono part. To see old kimonos and feel their family history was so exciting for me, too.


Furoshiki Cloth Wrapping Magic Performance

My kitsuke mate Rie, who is awarded Furoshiki cloth performer, played at international goodwill party so I attended the party as one of her supporters.
International guests were so amazed to see she wrapped everything with just a square cloth.
From a succor ball to a pair of wine bottles and books, furoshiki cloth made them easy to carry.


Sakura is not pink but #fef4f4

Yes it's sakura season again so I wear pink. However, when I checked Traditional Japanese Color Names, I found there is sakura color #fef4f4 and pale sakura color, #fdeff2. I realized these sakura colors are much lighter than western pink.
These days, when we say "sakura pink," we image heavier pink than real sakura flowers. Interesting!


Kitsuke party is fun!

From a totally beginner to seniors who can come in kimono, we enjoyed kitsuke party. We just take off or put on kimonos as our own pace but why it is so enjoyable?
May be because there are various How To Wear Kimono. It is fun and we can get lots of findings from just showing one's tips each other.

Next session will be held on April 12th. Let's enjoy kimono!


If your hair reach your collar bone,

If your hair reach your collar bone, you can hair up nihon gami Japanese traditional hairstyle.
Someno-san who is a rare successor of Japanese traditional hairstyle told me. Why don't you try it?
 She used to work in Ginza with high salary. However, because she believes this traditional hair style is the most suitable for kimono, she made up her mind to quit her job and became an apprentice of the master in Kyoto. Her story to become a professional hair stylist and antique kimono collector was like an adventure story! 
 Japanese traditional brides hairdo Someno-made. How beautiful!

I interviewed her for an English magazine Tokyo Journal. But the publisher decided to postpone next publishing...how sad...Instead of Tokyo Journal, I introduce her hairstyling on this blog because I was so impressed her story. Thank you Someno-san. Anyone who is interested in doing nihongami traditional hairstyle and if your hair reach your collar bone, please contact us!


Oiran is the most popular in Asakusa

When I interviewed a photo studio owner in Asakusa, she confidently answered the most popular costume her customers requested were Oiran. Since Asakusa was closed to oiran's hometown.

For those who don't know oiran, I say oiran was top-ranked sales woman in Edo era. What she sold? I think she sold her time to put on and pull off layered kimonos. It must take loooong and her time charge jumped up!

However, when you go to Asakusa, you can be oiran in 30 min!

I interviewed her for an English magazine Tokyo Journal. But the publisher decided to postpone next publishing...how sad...Instead of Tokyo Journal, I introduce her photo studio on this blog because the owner made tons of efforts for my interview and taking photos. Thank you Ogawa-san, and anyone who is interested in being taken photos as oiran, please contact us! )


I found kitsuke was good exercise

Next Tokyo kimono kitsuke club will be held on March 15th Monday. English, Chinese and Japanese languages will be available.
Last time, we tied Nagoya, fukuro and hanhaba obi sashes and tried odori dance pause!


Kimono Kitsuke Club 1 What I wear under nagajuban

Finally, I will open kimono kitsuke club on next Monday. 5 people will join. From daily kimono wearer to a beginner. We show how we wear kimono each other and exchange own kimono kitsuke tips. It must be a big fun.
As for their reference, I show what I wear under nagajuban.
1. two pieces of ordinary under wears (western style)
If you have a gorgeous body, tubetop may be better. (this is just a guess because I don't have such a body)

2. Ashibe juban
This is a bit expensive but very good for soaking up sweat and add thickness around a chest. I wear this throughout a year.

3.Suteteko long johns
I wear cotton linen one for summer, wool for winter instead of susoyoke.

4. Sodo hip pad
This also add thickness around the weist.

As you may know, because kimono is made from stitching rectangular pieces of cloth together in straight in lines, and there are no darts and  no tucks, it is better to make your body as flat as possible before you put kimono. In Japanese it is hosei revision. but how can I say in English? How about this? Make your coca-cola body to a stock pan!


Is this a dance or a kitsuke?

I have never seen this type of performance...How deep kimono world is... but it is interesting!


Kadomatsu from Poland

My another New Year Celebration is from Poland. We rarely see Kadomatsu new year pine decoration in recent Japan, (sadly Christmas trees are more popular now), so I was surprised when it came from Poland. Washi Artist Mariola made it!

I like her dolls too. Their posture, the head inclining one side silently are really Japanese traditional way and express something wordlessly but fully.
How did she get to know this!? Even Japanese forget now...

It is always my pleasure to see foreign people succeed Japanese culture. Some of traditions are almost disappeared here but taken over overseas like a torch relay..

I sometimes feel ashamed of myself when they make me realized that I know only a few things about my culture. How can I do for this? I don't have artist sense nor talent...Only I can do is waring kimono nicely...? OK I will try.


My New Year's New and Old

Japanese want to have something new when welcoming New Year. I had planed to get new obi from my favorite kimono shop. But..when I visited second time after I made up my mind "I gonna get it!", it was disappeared.... So I wore my mother's old obi as new. Now my mother's waist is about double of mine, but the obi is a bit short for me. Does this mean that I would have triple waist size when I would become my mother's current age?

After the new year celebration (just ate a lot) at my parents house, we went Rakugo comic story telling performance. It was wonderful. The story was about Kabuki actor. Rakugo comedian express colorful and active Kabuki performance by just words. This is another Japanese traditional art but very hard to tell foreigners (sad). I laughed and laughed.

At the exit of Rakugo theater, there was nice New Year decoration but who took this photo? We can't see the full display...sorry...