Spring is here! It’s been super hot lately, and that means that it’s almost time to wear unlined kimono again. I wanted to wear this blue and pink kimono one last time, before it’s time to pack it up in storage till next year. The pink wig is something crazy, isn’t it? Continue reading »
It rained all day today, so please forgive the indoor shots. I wanted to wear my green hikizuri again, and I wasn’t going to let a little bit of weather stop me!
This is only the second time I’ve ever worn hikizuri (trailing kimono)….and I’m not convinced that I’m doing it right lol. I tried to make the hem fall nicely and make the hikizuri nice and tight around my thighs so it would sweep out on the bottom like it’s supposed to, but it’s much harder than it looks!
Also, I wore an easy collar with no juban (under kimono) because even though it was raining, it was also very muggy and hot. For that same reason, I wore a wig instead of trying to get my wild hair tamed today lol.
So, today I decided I’d try on my traditional Japanese-style wigs (katsura) to see how they fit. They are in the style that geisha/geiko and apprentice maiko wear. I didn’t wear kimono or makeup, as these were just test runs, but I thought I’d share some pictures anyway.
First-up, Taka Shimada-style Geiko Katsura:
Thanks everyone who responded about the blog sale! I was able to match almost every item I had for sale up with a loving home. So glad to know that they’ll be going to people who will take care of them.
So, I have a confession to make….one of my resolutions this year was to not buy any more kimono. For the same reasons that I held the sale, actually…no room, and needing to start saving money. Well, as it turns out, as soon as I got the money in from the sale, this gorgeous hikizuri I had been watching (but never planned to buy) went down in price by over half. I told myself I would not buy it even at that price, but made the seller an offer just for fun. They counter-offered, and it just so happened that it was about the amount I had made from the sale, so….I bought it. Looking at the pictures, I think you can tell why:
Within the course of this year, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to purchase two maiko wigs, as well as a maiko haneri collar. Now it’s my turn to pass on what I have learned to you guys!
Maiko haneri can be very expensive. However, if you’re good at embroidery (or have a nice sewing machine or dedicated embroidery machine), it’s much cheaper to make your own. All you need is a heavily embroidered white design on a piece of chirimen (crepe) red silk, and flecks of golden thread woven beneath. However, even if you do this, you still need an “easy collar” to hold the haneri in place on your neck, or else it’s just a piece of very pretty floppy fabric. In case anyone is interested in creating their own maiko collar, or for those of you just interested in its construction, I have gone through and taken pictures and measurements. I covered everything I could think of, but if you don’t see something that you want, please feel free to contact me, and I’ll be more than happy to take pictures or provide additional measurements.
Here you can see the haneri already attached to the easy collar. The thin white pieces of fabric on the sides are for tying the collar to your chest; you simply wrap them around yourself and tie. They also help keep the collar stable on your neck and prevent it from flopping about everywhere under your kimono. Note that there is also a piece of white fabric under the haneri on each side….I have turned these up in the first photo, as my particular haneri is very stained in that area, and does not make for a nice picture.
Well, today I gave a lecture on geisha and kimono to my university’s East Asian Civilization students who were taking the summer course. I was so nervous, but at the same time excited!!! It went really well, I brought all my maiko hikizuri and my darari obi to show off, and wore kimono to display how they look when worn. (Hey, any excuse to wear kimono is a good excuse, right?) No pics of the lecture, sadly. My camera was left at home.
So, because I was going to be speaking to a class, I at first thought to wear my “Rainbow Cottage” houmongi….but then the weather today was 95F. (gah) Waaay to hot to wear anything but ro, and even that was pushing it! So I decided to go with a water-themed komon and obi to evoke a sense of coolness that I definitely was not feeling haha. This is another outfit I’ve been planning ever since I started collecting kimono, it’s the first time I’ve worn a fully ro outfit. It’s more subdued (I like to think?) than what I normally wear, at least in the accessory department.
So I recently had the urge to dress in the kimono style known as “KimonoHime”, which stems from a publication of that same name, and is characterized by bold patterned vintage kimono and obi paired with western accessories. (And also gigantic headpieces haha.)
I had originally planned to wear this outfit in January as a sort of New Years’ ensemble (hence the cranes and bamboo on the obi, and the uhm….poinsettias), but I kind of forgot. So now it’s more of a “farewell to winter” outfit. This particular kimono has come to be known as the “Zebra Gum Kimono”, obviously because it resembles the packaging of the “Zebra Gum” (Fruit Stripe) that I ate as a kid. It is one of my favorites.
The latest member of my maiko katsura collection will be joining us soon…this time, it’s a sakkou-style wig! Sakkou is the name of the hairstyle that a maiko wears 2 weeks before “turning her collar” in a ceremony known as erikae, which marks her transition from maiko to geiko. (In other words, she graduates from apprentice status to the big-time.)
Sakkou (short for Saki Kougai Mage 先笄髷) is the most complicated hairstyle that a maiko will ever wear. Personally, I love this style! (To see what sakkou looks like on maiko-san, scroll down this thread here)