The kimono boom

An article in The Japan Times Online goes In Skeptical Quest of a Boom, getting off to a depressing start in Tokyo, of all places (like me, those of you who follow kimono are probably going “Tokyo?! What were they thinking!”), and then finally being put on to the trail of, well, the rest of the country, and Mamechiyo. This is where the article gets interesting!

“The restricted movement it imposes forces you to slow down and think,” she said. “You have to watch your sleeves when you go to pick things up, for example.”

[…] Mamechiyo pointed out that the key to the boom is in understanding the difference between kimono worn to weddings or the coming-of-age ceremony, and kimono for fashion. Formal kimono are worn for the benefit of others, so they have to conform to accepted standards as a mark of respect. But when you wear kimono on an everyday basis, you do it for yourself, and then you can do whatever you want.

“All the strict conventions of kimono are relatively recent inventions,” she explained. “If you go back a bit further, people were wearing their obi tied at the front and all sorts of interesting things, so playing with kimono is part of the heritage.”
But despite having signed a deal with a yukata manufacturer and having her designs on sale in department stores across the nation this summer, this cutesy creator is wary of moving into mass production.

“We have a close relationship with our customers,” she explained, showing me an album of Polaroid snaps of them wearing her designs outside the 2-year-old shop. “I don’t want to lose that.”

I’m often skeptical of all the kitsuke schools that profess you have to get a “certificate” to dress in kimono properly, so seeing one of the reines du kimono herself say “all the strict conventions of kimono are relatively recent inventions” and “playing with kimono is part of the heritage” is simply wonderful. This is what I’ve seen in my years of observation and study, and really, when you know that women were dressing themselves in kimono for hundreds of years without “kitsuke degrees”, it makes perfect sense. Of course one should learn the significations and history of kitsuke, I’m not advocating throwing everything to the wind, but one shouldn’t be stifled by rules of a rigidity that never existed in the first place, either.

In parting, I’ll leave you with links to photos from my 1936 “Kimono” book, that show just how much variation there was:
o Finished taiko musubi (crooked by contemporary kimono school standards!)
o Bride dressed in hikifurisode (note wrinkly collar!)
o Bride and attendants (more “crooked” taiko musubi — at the most formal of events)
o Taiko musubi (yet another variation, this one plump)
o Front and back views of same kimono (note her “crooked” obi in front and how low her obijime is)
o Woman in haori sewing (lots of haneri showing)

48 Responses to “The kimono boom”

  1. Raks hime Says:

    Thanks so much for posting that article! I really enjoyed it.

  2. Yul Miyabi Says:

    Hello: I just had to say that was a great article! I especially liked the photos from your kimono book. To see the “imperfect” taiko obis and the wrinkled collars that didn’t quite line up was charming and a breath of fresh air, really. To see a kimono worn as a “lived” garment rather than a costume or simply formal wear on special occasions is especially nice. Who says you need a reason to wear a kimono?
    Anyway, I just wanted to say “hi”, and thanks for maintaining such a lovely website!
    From a fellow kimono-o-phile on the Oregon coast, Yul M.

  3. sala Says:

    It is the first time to leave a message. But I really enjoy your Blog every time.
    I have exactly the same opinion as you wonderting what kimono cetificate for
    wearring kimono should be the same thing as ony other cloths

    I dont have many chances to wear Kimono sinse I moved to Australia .
    But your blog encourage me I just wanna say thank you

  4. space babe Says:

    Hi, just happened to come by your blog. I am new in the blog world, så almost everything is a wonder to me. I came across a pornographic blog and was quite upset, but felt naive afterwards for not anticipating such blogs to exist. Then I saw a lengthy blog in Portuguese or some other language like it, and I wondered how on earth people can find time to write so much!

    And now I am at your blog, I just wanted to share a myth about kimonos from my childhood in China: the grown-ups told us that the Japanese women kept the ashes of their ancestors in the knot at the back. I always thought that macabre. Is there any truth at all in it?

  5. Alison Says:

    I’ve always enjoyed your blog as well, personal and kimono!

    New York is in the midst of a Mikio Naruse film festival (first in 20 years) whose work is another place to get a glimpse of ordinary, post-war kimono.

    Of course one would be guilty of the worst kind of train-spotting just to go for the kimonos! PS Festival link below….

  6. Anna Says:

    I’ve seen “Geisha House” (Flowing)! It’s great, the kimono are lovely — as well as the Western fashions, I have to say, a bit guiltily… :) If I recall correctly, there are a couple scenes where they put on/take off their kimono that are jaw-dropping for those of us who take forever to do it. With habit, they could put on a kimono (obi, accessories and all) in a few minutes!

    Space Babe, I have never heard that myth. Plus, as far as I know, the Japanese buried their dead, they didn’t incinerate them. And there isn’t really anywhere to keep ashes in an obi bow anyhow :)

  7. Alison Says:

    Hahaha….Yes, I know exactly what you mean….I found particularly galling the scene when Isuzu Yamada does her otaiko nearly one-handed, complete with a (somewhat showy) asymmetrical tilt. In fact, all their obis were as in your 1930s book, maybe a bit more exaggerated, with the corresponding tilt in the (already low) obijime too. So when did it fall out of fashion…?
    Back to Naruse for a moment, the kimono in When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) worn by Ginza bar hostesses is by contrast a lot more conventional. But that probably has more to do with the characters’ desire to hang onto some shred of respectability…

    Funnily enough, I was just seriously considering a kitsuke class offered by a women who works at a local kimono shop in New York. As much as I agree with you on the certificate craze, I think there is some good to be gotten out of humbling oneself (erm, myself!) to take direction or criticism from someone on the “inside,” even if our aesthetic sensibilities diverge (Kimono Ojosan vs Kimono Hime?). Builds character and all that. Well, at any rate (or, more to the point, at her rates!) it would keep my kimono budget in check! :p

  8. Anna Says:

    It seems to have fallen out of fashion in the 80s, from what I gather from my books - I have a 1970s book where the taiko still has a tilt in it, and obijime as well. That said, one newer Japanese kitsuke book I have has tilted obijime in it, so I think it’s coming back.

    Oh, I would jump at the chance to take a kitsuke course too! The only things I “disagree” with are the ideas that you have to get a certificate and dress just like a school says. Unfortunately there are no kitsuke schools in my area, and the only Japanese woman who wears kimono down here comes from Paris and doesn’t give lessons :( So I’m stuck learning from books!

  9. False Positives Says:

    Japanese Kimono designer Mamechiyo vists Toronto via Magic Pony…

    Celebrated throughout Japan for her textile design and kimono styling, Mamechiyo has only recently gained recognition in North America. ‘Mamechiyo : the Art of Kimono’ will be Mamechiyo’s first solo exhibit in North America and her…

  10. carpinteyrozhx Says:

    Nike re-released the brand nike free

    late Nike woven NRG unparalleled Xieshen advanced sham leather and nylon woven manually, with the omission of two friendly time capacity, also perfected enough bearing permeability with hyacinthine being jell set and design of Nike Let off 3.0, the curve generated through the appropriate all -round overtax his legs action to build on barefoot and dressed in a coherence, do not skip your favorite friends!

    The construct was inspired by the elegance, the original inhabitants of North America, Nike to father N7 series announce the concept of nike free run real and time living, sustainable ideas for eternal get-up-and-go and joined the seven disparate ideas of a hundred years of feel in crystallization and cultural circles as fraction will, with a acceptable Slip-on devise combines routine moccasin moccasin shoe models, combined in unrestrained and new the go make ideas with contented Nike technology and eviction system with turquoise stitching. times bringing in perfect accord attributes.

    Prominent nike free sko tennis player Andre Agassi repeatedly subdue on in the 1990’s, produced at hand Nike Feeling Tech Summon shoes, shoes shortly became popular, definitive “Vehement Ball” organize is a classic. This nike free tilbud fix, Nike disposition this immortal cabal reinstall footwear hoard to think up a up to date “fire”. This series, including zoom vapor 9 tour, Wind Max Courtballistec 4.3 hint at 2 K 12:03 a.m. footwear round of beaming colors with coal-black contrast, totally neat fashion. For the duration of three footwear, and resolve be formally introduced, so we recovered a prototypical superannuated opportunity, unqualifiedly not to be missed.

  11. Saltiegoclaic Says:

    Cheap NFL Nike Jerseys We it will likely be an MCL repair, that may six days to heal, thereafter an ACL that can nine times.
    If these customers uncover the critical thing phrase while in the title for your article they can be more prone to range from the article for the website. Once that heals within on a monthly basis, Colorado Broncos Jersey he’ll have surgery to correct a torn anterior cruciate ligament. In this posting we will explain why some traders succeed at emini scalping whilst others
    fail totally with this type of index futures exchanging. Novak Djokovic beat Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 6-2 inside of the semi-finals from the Cincinnati Masters to avenge his defeat throughout the Argentine within the Olympics bronze medal match. They allegedly incorporate what the heck is Nike Professional Combat uniform styles
    for that 2012 season, when Nike replaces Reebok because official National football league jersey provider. Within this summer 2008 Favre upset the sports media and community as they introduced he planned revisit football and then requested the nation’s football league to reinstate him. Their second title, as well as first you to be received by using a championship game, arrived 1947, 2 decades prior to the first Super Bowl game was performed.

  12. nike shoes greece Says:

    Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I were a little bit familiar of this your broadcast provided vivid clear concept

  13. webpage Says:

    As well as attention-grabbing, You’re a extremely expert blog writer. I have became a member of a person’s give food to and also crunches to get looking for excess within your fantastic posting. As well, I distributed your blog at my web sites

  14. dt4x7d77hg Says:

    ione programma .le versioni cartacee dei libri erano stati precedentemente pubblicato da penguin books e gli e-book sono stati rilasciati da ian fleming
    Hollister Tees Donne
    enziale caso pi probabile che contengono 592 miliardi di piedi cubi di gas e 295 milioni di barili di petrolio fino ad un massimo di 1,5 miliardi di
    Uomo Ralph Lauren Shorts
    ffettuate tra gen . 12 , 2010 e 1 marzo 2010 , per le organizzazioni coinvolte nel terremoto di soccorso ad haiti sono ammissibili . i contribuenti pos
    Hollister Tees Uomini
    ,35 milioni dollari .olio perth- based e gas azienda amadeus energy ltd prevede di spendere oltre $ 8 milioni in un programma di acquisto di azioni vol
    manica corta Polos

  15. Phillip Says:

    An option gives you the right to either buy or sell
    a given security on or before a given date.
    Without fundamental analysis done to a high standard. The strength of your own team would mean analysing the strength of your economy or company.

  16. lumanari nunta Says:

    Howdy are using Wordpress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m
    trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any
    coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would
    be really appreciated!

  17. cutia milei Says:

    Have you ever thought about including a little bitt
    more than just your articles? I mean, what you
    say is important and all. But just imagine if you
    added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but wkth pics and clips, this blog could
    undeniably be one of the very best in its field. Fantastic blog!

  18. construct beton Says:

    This blog was… how ddo you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something that helped me.
    Many thanks!

  19. Says:

    say the future seems bleak for CIT – noting that the company’s funding costs exceed its
    return on assets. Two of the well known value investing forums in US are.

    The board mentioned that Messina was ideal to complete its new focal

  20. Clinton Says:

    If you didn’t know these stylish souls prior to, then now may be
    the time to check them out. I also enjoy playing with the Chanel
    - Lovely Game. Have you ever had to turn down an invitation because
    you literally had “nothing to wear.

    My web page … summer dresses for weddings (Clinton)

  21. human computer interaction degree Says:

    Very nce post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly loved surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I’m hoping you write once more

    Here is my weblog human computer interaction degree

  22. laser cutting Says:

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality
    writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.

  23. astuces hay day francais Says:

    Hi there, I log on to your new stuff on a regular basis.
    Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

    my site - astuces hay day francais

  24. Dien dan sidonyaotel Says:

    Hi every one, here every person is sharing
    such know-how, thus it’s fastidious to read this webpage, and I used to go to see this website every day.

  25. garden buildings Says:

    Hello, just wanted to say, I liked this blog post. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!

  26. gta 5 codes de triche ps3 Says:

    This paragraph gives clear idea in support of the new
    visitors of blogging, that actually how to do
    running a blog.

    Feel free to visit my webpage … gta 5 codes de triche ps3

  27. un Compte Facebook astucesettoursdemain Says:

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles
    as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would
    genuinely benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Cheers!

    Review my blog post; un Compte Facebook astucesettoursdemain

  28. gry hazardowe online na prawdziwe pieni_dze Says:

    gry hazardowe online na prawdziwe pieni_dze…

    着物 Blog Archive The kimono boom…

  29. gps comparison guide Says:

    gps comparison guide…

    着物 Blog Archive The kimono boom…

  30. acne Says:

    It is employed only in wrinkle creams and cosmetics, and is fairly unheard of to see in “drugstore” makes.
    In Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye rescue cream this Q-10 is put
    inside special beads and this helps to ease it into the delicate eye
    area. If you have to use a wrinkle cream, it is advisable to look up winkle
    cream ratings on popular blogs and beauty and
    skin care websites to know which one is right for you.

  31. How Phone Tracking Is Proven To Work | Explorerseo Says:

    […] tool is called a GPS receiver. Should you loved Portable gps this car navigation,, information in addition to you desire to […]

  32. garage 71 Says:

    This design is steller! You obviously knoiw how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wiit and your videos, I was almost moved to
    start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented
    it. Too cool!

  33. shopping online for fat loss supplements and muscle builders Says:

    Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to know so much approximately this, such as
    you wrote the ebook in it or something. I feel that you could do with
    some percent to force the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is great blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  34. Indian bridal hairstyles Says:

    It’s really a great and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  35. michael kors purse Says:

    Your way of explaining all in this piece of
    writing is really fastidious, every one be capable of
    without difficulty know it, Thanks a lot.

    Check out my webpage - michael kors purse

  36. us Says:

    The other best thing about solar lights or led solar lights is that theyhave dawn and dusk
    sensors which give you idea when to turn on and off.
    You can find good quality, for the most part, by only spending just a little more money than you can buy the cheapest replacement cushions for
    outdoor furniture. Gently treat the oil or lotion stains and keep working them until the stain disappears, or at least become minimal.

  37. ____________ Says:

    Sometimes, we make conversation harder than it needs to be.
    became the first person to be issued a US patent for an electric bicycle.
    Take your electric motorized bike on vacation with you and see more in less
    time. Your bicycle conversion kit should come with a simple to install controller, battery and wiring, and
    this is all very easy to mount and connect by following the instructions provided
    with your conversion kit.

  38. bbc one tv channel Says:

    I_m not that much of a online reader to be honest but
    your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to
    come back later. Cheers

  39. top eleven hack iphone Says:

    Hey! I know this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask.

    Does operating a well-established website such
    as yours require a massive amount work? I am brand new to writing a blog however
    I do write in my journal daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog
    owners. Thankyou!

    Feel free to visit my website; top eleven hack iphone

  40. fifa 14 generator no download Says:

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you’re utilizing?
    I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safe.
    Do you have any solutions?

    Here is my web site: fifa 14 generator no download

  41. Says:

    Even a service oriented business will need some outlay of cash in the beginning.

    Stop wondering how to make quick money online and start making it
    happen today. Set up your blog or website and start
    writing articles to submit.

  42. Mechanical Aptitude Practice Test Says:

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  43. Tyrone Says:

    Heya i am for thhe primary time here. I found this
    board and I to find It really useful & it
    helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to present something back and aid others such as
    you helped me.

  44. youares Says:

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once per week.

    I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  45. Says:

    It is not my first time to pay a quick visit this site, i am browsing this web site dailly
    and take pleasant facts from here every day.

    Here is my homepage; RoTMG Hacks,,

  46. Http:// Says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up right here, but I believed this publish was great.
    I do not recognize who you are however certainly you’re going
    to a well-known blogger in the event you are not
    already. Cheers!

    Look into my page :: Dragon city gems hack (Http://

  47. hidroizolatii lichide mapei Says:

    If some one wants to be updated with newest technologies afterward he must be pay a visit this website annd be up
    to date daily.

  48. Says:

    I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or
    weblog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site.
    Studying this info So i am satisfied to exhibit that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling
    I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot surely will make
    certain to don?t forget this site and give it a look regularly.

Leave a Reply