Behind the scene of "Unexpected Kimono Experience"

Julián Medina who is a Colombian, and won the worldwide Havana Club Gap Year competition which has given him the chance to travel abroad to 12 different countries for 13 months, dropped my house.

Japan is his 6th country and he already spent about 20 days in Japan so I should think about what was the "special experience" for him to make him surprised.

Of course it was Kimono!

Please read what he thought when I told it to him. LOL!
I contacted the person that was going to teach me how to make sushi, she told me to meet her at 4pm at Meguro Station (Not Mejiro, she said) I was very careful not to go to Mejiro and made it at 4 to Meguro.
I was meeting Shino at the station, she was wearing Kimono as she said earlier when she gave me the indications.
She welcomed me and said “Thank you for coming to the kimono wearing experience and sushi making lesson”
Wait, am I going to wear a Kimono? I did not have that on my schedule, too many things came through my mind, I even thought about running away when I had a picture in my head of me wearing a dress like the one she was wearing. (I know, I should have known that there are Kimonos for men) but I didn’t.
That’s why I was so scared.
I didn't imagine I scared him at all. Really naturally and quickly, I made him dressing my husband's kimono and tied my uncle's obi sash. His hairdo was just like a samurai, wasn't it?

What unexpected for me was he could sit on knees just for 10 seconds. So we gave up to serve tea for him in our tatami room. this is the only picture shot in that rare 10 seconds.  

After tacking his sleeves with a tasuki cord, we made various vegetarian sushis. We but Julián missed fish a bit but my vegetarian sushi recipe worked well because he awarded them "Vegetarian Heaven". What an honor!
Rest of the party, please read his blog "DAY 172 / DIA 172 MY UNEXPECTED KIMONO EXPERIENCE."
It was so exciting to know his round-the-world trip story. Amazing to know he travel around just with two back-packs. Actually one front pack and one back pack! I couldn't say I traveled with a 80 litter luggage  with kimonos and obi sashes just for a week trip!!!

Not only a kimono class, I am offering sushi making class for sushi  lovers. Details, please see HERE!


Obi Lesson: Aha Moment After Entanglement!

We had obi lesson today.
Previous lesson which focusing on kimono was quite smooth.
You can't find some of above five wore kimono for their first time. (obi was tighten by me)

But today, obi lesson, beginning was a mess.
We bound our body with a obi, turned 3 times, clipped, tied and made a obi drum behind us with sweat (and tears...)!  

However,  once you grasp the techniques, it become much easier than the first time.
And then, please see, these beautiful obi musubi!


Autumn Kimono Class Started!

With just three times lessons, these ladies become perfect kimono wearer! I will have a same course in English in November. if you would like to join, please contact me.

I also plan to have Asakusa kimono shops tour in November. We will visit over 20 kimono retailers and wholesales in Asakusa and Nihonbashi. It is around about 3 hours short trip, but you must be excited to see both cutting-edge and quite traditional kimono industry trend in Tokyo!


Hot Summer Yukata Lesson

I usually don't have kimono class in summer since I don't want to listen attendee's complaint about Tokyo heat and humid during wearing. Kimono (yukata) wraps your body from neck to ankle. When you tie obi, you must turn clockwise twice as quick as possible. Yes, it is sweaty!

But this time, since attendee is a Malaysian, I opened a special class for her. I thought Malaysia was far south of Tokyo so she should be OK for this heat and humid.

With my neighbor Etsuko, we practiced yukata wearing, bunko tying and tsunodashi tying.

The lovely Malaysian Ez really did well, but our two expectations were failed.  1. Ez said Malaysia is not bad like Tokyo summer especially humidity. 2. Her Japanese was excellent so Etsuko who would like to talk in English missed opportunity to brush up English speaking skill!

Thank you for the lovely moment with us, Ez. We promise you can be a beautiful kimono dresser!


Kimono students graduation!

My part-time kimono wearing class was completed. From this April to June, we have 6 lessons and now all 20 ladies (10 x 2 groups) can wear kimono quite elegantly!
Please see our graduation photo.

Now they can wear kimonos which were from their mothers. How useful to save the clothes which were stored in old tansu chests for a log time.


Furisode Kimono Wearing

American flea market shoppers visited us to wear their treasures. We enjoyed to see their beautiful furisode, tsukesage and obi sashes. And we made them dressed.
How gorgeous they are!
And then, we made sushi rolls for our lunch wearing kimono apron on kimono.
What are beautiful day with colorful kimonos and sushi rolls!


Singing and Dancing Japanese Folk Songs in Kimono!

Since I heard Sheila would film about kimono, I dashed off the shooting place near Asakusa. Surprisingly, the place was a traditional Japanese folk song bar and all store staffs were professional signers and shamisen players.
Not only just listening the staffs are playing Japanese traditional folk songs, you also can dance and sing with their accompaniment. I sang Tokyo-ondo song and danced Tanko-bushi coal miners song. These are very easy to sing and dance songs for Japanese traditional bon festival.
Like our ancestors, I really wished I could sing and dance all-night! Definitely would like to visit again! must be on Friday or Saturday night.


Asakusa Kimono Shop Tour

I and a cultural organization I belong to have Asakusa kimono shop tours for interpreter tour guides for their education.
After two hours lecture about how to find/shop kimono in Tokyo or on internet, we visited over 20 shops including kimono recycling retailers, whole-sellers and combs shop which is one of the oldest shops in Asakusa and Nihonbashi.
This tour was so popular among the organization members so I held 3 tours in two days. But visiting kimono shops with kimono fellows was so much fun so I didn't get tired at all!


Kimono kitsuke class

I became a part-time kitsuke class teacher from this April. Kitsuke teaching is exciting and thrilling since I have lots of things to tell, but time is so limited.
The first day was Yukata lesson. Everyone got grade AAA!


What the Dickens, Kimono PhD !?

We celebrated Sheila's PhD award. The thesis is about kimono history and fashion. Please ask her directly for the details. I am on the thesis. It is my honor!
The place is a British pub "What the Dickens!" in Ebisu. Maggie introduced this place to me. Since her cousin designed this pub. What the Dickens!


A vintage kimono collector from France

We, English speaking Japanese kimono ladies welcomed Maggie, an English vintage kimono collector from France.
She showed us so many beautiful vintage kimonos brought from France! 

 In return, Etsuko showed Maggie her lovely kirigami technique.

We made Maggie dressed.

Voila! Now all ladies are in kimono!


New Year Shamisen Play but stain on my kimono...

For New Year Celebration, I got a chick purple-gray komon from Nagamochiya ( the place everybody can sell own kimono 50% commission base). I love it especially this abstract karakusa-like motif with thin gold lines.
A Close Up

With a blue and gold lace fukuro obi 

A happy new year!

On January 1st, at our uncle's house,  when we cheered for the new year, I dropped beer on my kimono. Shxx! (not Shino). A stain on my collar!!! This was the worst thing that I had had in new year celebration because I planed to wear this kimono again on Shamisen banjo new year party a week later.  

I wonder, worry and fret about, and finally decided to wear it again at the Shamisen new year party.
But I hided behind other players.
Hope you couldn't see the stain.