Yesterday Arian and I hit Japantown for some fun for a change, rather than working for a taiko event.
It gave me the opportunity to wear my new indigo kasuri ensemble…it really is starting to get a touch too warm for the haori – but I wanted to wear the set at least once before it was too hot. I paired it with my lovely new taisho obi – which unfortunately has a few tears in it (all hidden, when wearing…but still). I might be able to convert the obi into a tsuke obi (two piece obi) which should minimize stress on the fabric, and allow me to still wear it.
I was unreasonably excited by the fact that the red and pink shibori juban I purchased around the same time as the kasuri ensemble…but from a different seller – actually fitted the sleeves of my kasuri kimono perfectly it was as though they had been made for each other….it might just be the first time I’ve not had to adjust sleeves lengths.
I am particularly fond of these himo (ties). I purchased a rather beat up (but beautiful) haori purely for these himo. I knew the pink would match perfectly with my wool ensemble.
When we got to Japantown – we ran a few errands – visiting David at White Crane Tea so I could give him back his vintage kasuri kimono vest. I had hand sewn a new collar on it for him, as the old collar was falling apart. He was thrilled that I returned it on Boy’s Day….very appropriate – which didn’t even occur to me until he mentioned it! He ended up gifting to me a gorgeous vest of sorts he made from a vintage black ro kimono with gold dragonflies woven in sporadically. The edges of the collar and the hem are tearing a bit – but he told me that I could sew a light weight solid black silk collar and edge to frame it…and then wear it over a nice light blue or silver kimono…. which would then show off the stream pattern woven into the ro. I was really humbled by this gift, as I know how much he loves this vest – but, he said it was a bit too girly for him to wear, and while he’ll miss it – he’d rather see someone wear it and give it new life.
We then went to Genji antiques and I purchased a new obi. Haha. I swear – they must have a “Naomi Radar” or something, because every time I go in, there is always ONE new piece that I absolutely must have. In this case – it was a black obi with a river/mountain scene with a rabbit and a frog hand painted on. This design is based on a very famous scrolls from the 12th and 13th centry called “”Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga (Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Figures)”. These scrolls are considered national treasures in Japan. The hand painting is very simple though – nice clean lines and minimal shading.
Afterwards, Arian spoiled me with buying me a book that has old photographs from early Taisho era through to the 60’s of kimono outfits, advertisements, etc. I figured it would be good for inspiration. From there, we went to the taiko showroom to meet with Kumiko Tanaka, Sensei’s wife – for her to take photographs of Arian and myself. She is an artist and photographer, and had been wanting to take photos of me wearing kimono for a while – so we finally had a chance! I can’t wait to see how they come out – as her black and white photography is amazing. She has a real eye for perfect lighting.
After all that – we finally met up with Marissa (kaijou_akai/Kaijou from LiveJournal/ImmortalGeisha forums) and her friend to have dinner together and go out for a few drinks. Marissa was wearing a fantastic brown and blue ensemble – If her obi wasn’t firmly tied to her – I would have taken off with it! I want a ship obi!
When we finished dinner dinner, we hit the karaoke bar for a drink and Arian sang Piano Man. Then we moved on to a cute little bar on the other side…near the hotel. Arian and I went their for the first time during Cherry Blossom with Sensei and the hostess was wearing a gorgeous kimono ensemble. We got talking about kimono then, and I promised her next time I came in, I’d wear kimono and visit her. So she was extremely happy to see Marissa and I turn up in kimono and we have a lovely evening talking with her and the other bartenders about kimono stuff.
And that wraps up our evening. I had a lot of much needed fun, relaxation and kimono time with someone who likes to talk about kimono just as much as me!