Friday, 20 August 2010

Japanese Kimono

I'm rather badly behind with blogging at the mo, especially here and on Brauns on Tour, but I'm just so wound up with the conclusion of our Chinese classes here (finished this lunchtime) and now the preparations to leave. Be that is it may (and it is!!), I thought most readers would enjoy some photos from Japan in the form of my being dressed up in a traditional kimono! It starts with these amazing socks that make your feet look so odd (I saw a local chap here in Taipei wearing leather boots like this recently too!):

Then you move on to the underwear stage. There's a special, cotton undergarment that forms a base layer to the whole thing. This photo also shows that you don't need to speak the same language well in order to share a laugh! My 'dresser' here only speaks her native Japanese of which I know only a little.

Next comes the white layer you can see here with the red belt, which seemed almost an outfit in it's own right to me. I rather like the colour scheme too.=) Here you can see the patterned top layer going on as well.

Here's a shot of the trickiest part, tying the big 'obi', the belt. I think that took almost as long as the rest of the dressing process put together!

After having a fancy hairdo done - plaited across the back and then formed into a side ponytail, which is a very trendy style in Japan (mostly without the plait though as you need someone else for that), this was the finished look, complete with the correct sandals.

And here from the back out of the local street. Our, mercifully, Chinese speaking Japanese friends wanted me to go out onto the Shiji Dori, Kyoto's main shopping street and walk down there, but anyone who knows me well would know how little I would enjoy that! As a rule, unlike the Chinese, the Japanese don't stare at white people, but they do when one appears in a kimono!!

Hope you've all enjoyed our little excursion into traditional Japanese culture!

I've no stitching to show at the mo, although the field mice are further on in terms of being finished up. However, we took a trip to Tokyo on our last full day in Japan and visited the Okadaya textile crafts emporium. I was really inspired by all the lovely embroidery threads available on the 5th floor (there were also trays full of Japanese embroidery silks, which I've always wanted to drool over) and that fired my enthusiasm again.=) I didn't buy anything, but it was fun and here's a photo of a class that was being held during my visit. I think they're doing crochet or something like that.

Hope to post soon with the completed cushion cover and progress on the goldowork which, ideally, I'd like to have done before we head back on 28th.

© Elizabeth Braun 2010


Doris said...

i love kimonos, in my visit to Osaka (few years ago), we buy a child kimono,,to my daughter, the obi is red with Hello Kitty face in golden color. :D, i hope back to Osaka someday. Maybe the crochet class is about amigumuri.:D

Mary Corbet said...

This was such fun to read, Elizabeth! And I love the photo of the two of you laughing! That's great!

Jules said...

You look fab in that kimono! I'm fascinated by Japanese costume, thanks for the great pics.

Rachel said...

That's a delightful photo of the two of you laughing! It looks like you were having fun..!

Radka said...

This is very interesting read, thanks for sharing it.

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

You look just darling in the kimono, and I love your new avatar.

Anonymous said...

Love love love the kimono photos! You look totally gorgeous :D Thanks so much for sharing :D

My 1st Bambina ! said...

What a nice and neat experience... japanese kimonos are lovely !

Hannah said...

I visited Kyoto last summer and have exactly the same series of photos. But my kimono is dark purple with butterflies.

Kamala said...

I love the kimono photos and Japanese handicrafts. You look very natural and perfectly gorgeous. I wish I had done this when I was traveling to Japan years ago.