October 30, 2010

Otsukimi Festival in Phoenix

Last weekend, my friend Lucik Aprahamian and I went to the Otsukimi (Full Moon) festival at Ro Ho En (Japanese Friendship Garden) in Phoenix last weekend. It was really fun despite being a bit of a hassle to drive there with everything. (Everything being one kimono and one yukata plus all accessories!)  I have four hours of  taiko practice each Saturday, so immediately afterward, I drove to Phoenix, met my friend at the garden and we changed at the Tea house. Lucik had already bought tickets and because of a lot of traffic near Baseline road, I arrive about 30 minutes late: at 5:20pm.
I managed to dress us both and be out and about before 6:00pm, which was pretty amazing since I had not worn that kimono or obi before and we only had 1 mirror.
Here are the photos to prove it!

Taisho meisen komon paired with my  hawk nagoya obi.
Now you can see how short the sleeves are on me.
The back of the obi, showing the hawk and chrysanthemum design
Lucik in my deep red hibiscus print yukata and gold obi. Check out the cute black bunny geta and vintage handbag!
It was slightly chilly, so Lucik opted to wear the tabi sox with the geta.

Dressing myself in the meisen was not the easiest. It's probably the smallest kimono I own and so short I could only make a tiny ohashori hidden under the obi. It's narrow too; people were smaller in 1912,  but luckily I have very straight hips. It felt very comfortable while on. The fabric has such an interesting texture: crisp and slightly shimmery from the weave. Most of the design is in shades of purple with some reddish flowers as well. It has an almost water-color effect.
The obi was another matter. I love the design on this obi, it's so stunning! It's in decent shape, the pale green background is faded a bit all over but the embroidery of the hawk is in excellent condition. I didn't find out that the tare was shorter than average until I was putting it on, but I managed to get it looking decent. The fabric is very crisp, probably jinken or a silk-jinken blend. I wore a red shibori obiage and red obijime; the zori are violet-blue and pink. The purse is red Thai silk that I picked up somewhere in California.

The yukata Lucik is wearing is probably from the 1970's or 1980's. I love the bold design of big creamy hibiscus, yellow daisy-like flowers and black leaves on the dark red background. The gold obi is perfect with it. Normally when I wear this yukata, I have yellow two-tooth geta on, but since this was Lucik's first time in yukata, I opted for the black bunny geta. Her purse is vintage Japanese red and black vinyl. She is one of those people that is amazingly photogenic..... lucky Lucik! She looked great in every photo!

Aside from the kimono-yukata experience, the festival was absolutely lovely! There was traditional dance, music by Ken Koshio, a taiko performance by Fushicho Daiko, an Aikido demonstration, a tea ceremony, and lots of food. The gift shop was open outside and a bar offered both hot and cold sake. The garden was lit only lanterns, so strolling while seeing that huge full moon over the trees was a beautiful sight! The koi in the pond were very active, apparently people were feeding them. The weather couldn't have been better: clear, cool (about 59 degrees).

Hopefully I can go to this event next year! Stay tuned for the next kimono-wearing event.

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