This Summer was not only busy, but quite exciting as I had the fortunate chance of meeting one of my online kimono friends in person!
Catherine (Ai no Kimono) and I met around 10 years ago online through the Immortal Geisha forums and these days, she is actually one of the admins as well! While Cathrine resides in Seoul, Korea and I in the United States our stars aligned and this year we were able to meet in person for the first time!
The first day we met was quite a busy day. We had planned on attending a kimono sale at the local Buddhist temple, and then attend a kabuki performance later that evening.
We went to the kimono sale without high expectations, but we were pleasantly surprised! There were a few lovely vintage and retro gems hidden amongst the more modern pieces. Catherine found a lush striped komon, while I found a bold black, white and red omeshi hitoe. Additionally, I picked up two vintage juban that had antique han’eri still stitched to them!
That evening for the kabuki performance, clearly inspired by our earlier shopping, we both ended up black, white and red all over!
Catherine wore the omeshi i purchased earlier in the day paired with my bat obi (which, would you believe that Catherine actually has a CAT obi in the exact same style/design as this bat obi? It was apparently a series. There’s also a gothic looking lamp one as well!)
I wore my black and white ro yabane komon accented with a red, embroidered ro han’eri. I paired it with one of my favourite obi: a ro obi with gorgeous bold tsuzumi, which I thought would be fun and suitable for a kabuki performance!
The kabuki performance was spectacular. Firstly, the onnagata, Nakamura Umemaru, came on stage and demonstrated how he applies his oshiroi (white make-up), katsura (wig), and then how he was dressed. After a brief interlude, he came back on stage and performed Tenaraiko, which involved a breathtaking display of hikinuki (link takes you to hikinuki in Sagi Musume) — the technique of quick costume change on stage. What made the performance even more delightful that it was performed on an open air stage, with the gorgeous, real life forest scenery behind him. I wish I had of thought to take photographs, but I was so enthralled with enjoying the performance, it didn’t occur to me!
It was an absolute delight to be able to attend this performance, even more so with such fantastic company!
After the performance, we went to one of my favourite local places for a cocktail and appetizers…and maybe, we got a little silly — for having just “met” in person for the first time that day, we sure got onlike a house on fire! It was more like a reunion of very good friends <3