I had always been interested in Japanese culture, especially kimono and when I got older I had the chance to actually wear one.
A few years ago I started studying chado. One day one of my friends from chado borrowed me a lovely kimono to actually wear. I fell in love with wearing kimono and started looking for a suitable one for myself.
At first my kitsuke wasn’t very good but slowly and surely I’ve become better. Now I enjoy wearing kimono at lessons and on other occasions as well.
My kimono collection is not that big but all of them are unique and special to me.
A few weeks have passed, but I have been to kimono events with our staff.
At first, we went to an event which was sponsored by TANSU-YA. There was a space called ‘Creator’s Mall’ that some kimono designers displayed their works in. We met Rocco in the space and although we have known each other for several years over the internet it was the first time to meet her face to face.
Roccoya makes and sells kimonos and obi made of cloths collected from all over the world. The unique and fabulous designs – which aren’t typically seen in Japan, are a specialty of Roccoya’s.
Next, we saw an obi at ‘Kyoto Studio booth’, which was made with a three-dimensional technique. This design made strong impression on me.
The three-dimensional obi made by Nishijin-ori. Nishijin-ori is a texture weaving produced in the Nishijin district of Kyoto. The obi with a Marilyn Monroe illustration is very popular – according to craft man. But, we saw another one, tigers’ design! Illustrations on the obi change when viewed from different angles.
Rough translation into English of the linked article for your clear understand.
“Hikihaku” is a traditional Japanese technique and Nishijin-ori textile manufacturer produced an obi which we see in the photo. There are three different types of three-dimensional images which change when viewed at a different angle. Takayama craft center (Kita-ku, Kyoto) designed the three-dimensional obi. Three-dimensional images are on the back of taiko musubi. Hikihaku is a technique, which uses finely-cut and stretched gold foils or silver foils on Japanese papers or thin silk and weaves the weft into fabric.
The obi, as we see three kinds of three-dimensional images, cut three-dimensional thin plastic boards and signboards or posters into 0.1mm wide. Weaving the obi, we carefully weave the weft into fabric which isn’t off illustrations.
Takayama craft center created three pieces of work this time. They are tigers, the American actress Marilyn Monroe with a skyscraper (we can enjoy three kinds of her facial expressions) and dogs and cats. They are now working on creating a “Horses and Pegasus” design obi. There are a few craftspeople who can cut Hikihaku, and weavers are aging.
We could also hear interesting stories, for example, an obi made by Mino-washi which is a type of Japanese paper created in Gifu Prefecture Japan, is amongst one of the strongest papers in the world. We saw an original letter written on the washi paper that was several hundred years old and it still looked like new!
It is a great opportunity to participate in these kinds of kimono events as we have the chance to learn more about kimono techniques and hear interesting stories from the kimono craft people directly.
Next shop we visited was Kenma in Roppongi, Tokyo.
The event was collaborated by Jotaro Saito (Designer) and Yoshiha Yohey (Kyoto Kamashi). Kamashi is a craftsman to found an iron tea ceremony pot. Jotaro Saito was there on the day and he offered us kimono coordinating and dressing.
What we found was that Jotaros’ sense and combination of color was unique and might be from a male perspective because it was a dynamic combination! All his Kimono designs are original and neat, so if you love distinct design kimonos, I’m sure you will love his works!
Below is an Iromuji that our staff tried on. An Iromuji is a plain kimono without any black color.
So, it doesn’t look like an Iromuji, but it is! I recommend these for someone who is looking for unconventional designed kimonos.
We are big fans of his kimono! What do you think?
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