December 24, 2014

New Kimono for Summer!

Summer is so far away and too hot for kimono anyway, so "spring" (spring weather starts in mid-February in southern Arizona) is probably a likely time of year for wearing this new piece I purchased from Shinei. I will likely wear this one in February for Matsuri if we have typical nice weather.

This one seems contemporary becasue of the design but it's definitely at least 60 years old. Shinei stated on their website that this kimono was Taisho-Roman era and the sleeves are the right length but I'm not certain. I think it's a bit later. It was advertised as hitoe (unlined), which I love but I didn't expect it to be borderline sheer.

Interesting design!
It's deep charcoal-grey, with light blue "stripes" bordered with pale grey or white. The "stripes" aren't really stripes at all but are more like leaf shapes and remind me of shark's teeth for some reason. I do not know what this motif is supposed to represent, so I may post a photo on the Immortal Geisha website.
Back of kimono

Front of kimono
The silk or silk-blend fabric is nubby and textured, with some subtle color variations in it. At first glance, it appears to be sturdy fabric with some weight to it, until you realize you can see light through it. It's sheer enough that you might have to consider what color juban you wear underneath but it's not ro or sha as far as I can tell. The design is woven but it's not  Meisen, as you can see by the back of the fabric.
Backside of the weave
Detail of the kimono sleeve
I really like this kimono because of it's modern appeal and neutral color- it seems to be begging for either fun bright accessories or maybe a tweedy menswear look. I think because of the color and weight of this fabric, it might work for spring or even early fall. I also have two new obi to share but I'll put those in a separate post!
Happy Christmas everyone!

Mochitsuki & Japanese New Year in Tucson!

It's been a while! 
Between work and the recent All Souls Procession , I have been super busy and even missed a couple of kimono-wearing events recently because of work commitments!
However, some more Japanese cultural events are coming soon to Tucson, Arizona in early 2015. 
Image from

  • The first event in the new year will be Saturday, January 3rd, Yume Japanese Gardens is hosting a New Year's Celebration! The weather should be excellent (no snow here!) and perfect for bringing out your autumn and winter kimono that you probably never get to wear in Arizona. 
  • Next event is Saturday, January 10th, Mochitsuki at Rhythm Industry Performance Factory, sponsored by the  Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition. There will be taiko drumming at this event, so I will be playing and volunteering! Another chance to wear your festive winter kimono.
  • And on Saturday and Sunday, February 21-22nd will be the 31st Annual Arizona Matsuri, in downtown Phoenix. Weather in late February can be variable, but usually we get spring weather- for kimono, we usually bring out the early spring motifs and occasionally summer yukata as well since it has been as warm as 85 degrees F in the past! It has been chilly and rainy too, so be sure to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!