December 27, 2017


“Oh it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh.... 

Or rather silk.
Enjoy your New Year!

(Quote from ― Anthony BurgessA Clockwork Orange)

December 10, 2017

Kitsuke Workshop at the Johrei Fellowship

I was recently asked to do a basic kitsuke workshop at the Johrei center. The ladies are learning tea ceremony and were interested in dressing in yukata and kimono. Some of the ladies had their own kimono and obi but didn't know where to start. I showed up dressed in my recently acquired blue stripe komon and bird obi. They were thrilled and excited to learn.

I dressed the lady who initiated this project in one of my kimono, obi, and accessories while the others watched and asked a lot of questions. I demonstrated the two most basic hanhaba obi musubi (bunko and kai no kuchi) then they dressed themselves in yukata I brought with me. One lady had her own yukata and hakata obi but it might have been a summer kimono. It was difficult to tell! The ladies were really appreciative and I hope they had as much fun as I did. It was a truly nice experience and we all had a great time playing with kimono.

The lady on the far left is wearing my "Atomic potsherd" kimono and the lovely double-sided Nagoya obi. 

That's me, second from the left, in my vintage bird obi.

December 5, 2017

Obi Clip- Obidomekanagu

I have owned an obi clip, or Obidomekanagu, for quite a while but didn't know how it worked- until I discovered this little gem of a video!

Once you get the hang of it, you realize what a great thing this is- especially for tying obi that are on the short side and vintage obi. It really does save time and your taiko musubi looks better. Highly recommended!
Here is mine- it's all metal but works just fine.


November 21, 2017

Did Someone Say "It's Almost Black Friday"?

Yes, I have decided to thin out my collection! My kimono tastes have changed over the years and I have realized some items I have only worn once, so it's time to sell to someone who appreciates these items.
Soon I will be posting info on everything for sale here. No, I'm not going to do the whole ebay thing, this is just for my blog readers and friends.

Here are some teaser pictures, there will be more for sale including three yukata, more obi, a couple more handbags, and of course zori.
I will post dimensions and prices of everything and even estimated shipping. All you have to do is contact me and I will figure it out. Feel free to ask questions as well. If you covet one of the items below, email me ASAP and I will set it aside.

Happy Thanksgiving!

TEASER- These and more will be going on Sale soon!

Fabulous purple bokashi arare odori kimono, 61" long, 53" wingspan, washable poly. 
Kawaii cute hanhaba obi, poly or rayon.
Bold  and funky cool "Rastafarian" wool hitoe kimono
Elegant cream and metallic gold Nagoya obi

Gorgeous  vermilion and metallic gold zori and handbag set!

November 13, 2017

Amaterasu Omikami for the All Souls Procession

Hello everyone!
I usually give a teaser about what I am doing for the All Souls Procession, but this year, I became so busy, I had to wait until after. But at least there are some nice photos.
This year, I made another mask from a kit by Wintercroft; I customized a mask to represent Amaterasu Omikami, the Shinto sun goddess. The theme this year was related to alchemy, the marriage of the sun and moon. I wore my indigo and white odori yukata with a yellow han eri and yellow obi. Let me know what you think.

Here is the mask in process:

And the finished mask with yukata:

October 3, 2017

Yes, We Have Taiko in the Desert!

The Rogue Theatre

300 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ - 520-551-2053 
Dear Rogues, 
On this Saturday, October 7, The Rogue Theatre is hosting Odaiko Sonora Japanese Drumming Ensemble's 15th anniversary concert. We've got two shows: 2:00 matinee and 7:30 evening. If you've never seen Taiko drumming, you're in for a wonderful treat. Tickets are just $20 in advance ($25 at the door). 

Join us by calling the Rogue box office (520-551-2053) or you can always buy tickets on-line with NO added fees.
Wishing you all the very best! 

--Cynthia Meier, Managing Director

September 29, 2017

Who Wants a Haneto Yukata? I do I do!

In honor of my taiko group's 15th Anniversary performances on Oct. 7th in which we perform Nebuta Daiko by Moko Igarashi, here is a fabulous video about the Nebuta festival in Japan. Pay attention to the uber cool haneto yukata!

If you will be in Tucson next weekend, come see us play! Or come to Tucson Meet Yourself festival on Oct. 14th- we're playing there as well. 

September 27, 2017

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson Opens this Weekend!

Howdy Kimono Lovers!
There are many fun kimono-wearing events are starting this Sunday in Tucson at Yume! We also have fabulously beautiful weather but it's still relatively warm, so feel free to wear hitoe or a yukata. Maybe I will see you there.

(Newsletter courtesy of Yume Japanese Gardens)

Fall Is Here, And We Welcome It -- And You -- Back To Yume.

Colorful leaves (koyo) are to the Japanese autumn what cherry blossoms are to spring. Viewing autumn leaves has been popular in Japan for centuries, and crowds flock to famous koyo spots in mountain and city every year. We can't offer you eye-popping reds and yellows, but reasons still abound to visit Yume as we reopen for the Fall 2017 season on October 1

Our season-opening exhibitions include "Between Folds: Origami Classical and Modern," a showing in our museum of ingenious folded paper forms by origami artist M. Craig. It will intrigue you.

See what a clever imagination and dexterous fingers can do to transform flat squares of paper into 3-D sculptures without scissors or glue. Co-founder of the Tucson Origami Club, Craig has taught the techniques of this favorite pastime of both Japanese children and adults since 1996. The exhibition runs until December 31 and entrance is free with regular Gardens admission.

We're also inaugurating a new gallery in our museum, showcasing the exhibition "Mingei: Old Japan on Hand." 
 Mingei is a Japanese folk art preservation movement that focuses on the beauty in items produced by average people that are practical and used in daily life.

We're celebrating the nameless makers of traditional everyday objects of wood, bamboo, stone, ceramics, paper, textiles, and lacquer, gathered in our collection which spans more than 150 years. Although humble, these creations preserve the human touch in an era of mass production. This is a permanent and continuing exhibition, and entrance is free with regular Gardens admission.

Free Artist Reception
October 8, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Join us to meet Phoenix ceramicist and Ikebana master Ping Wei and inquire about the sources of his inspiration for his exhibition in our art gallery of "Enlightened Heart: Fire-engraved Wood Sculptures by Ping Wei."

Using wood-burning tools and drawing on Asia's storehouse of poetry, legends, and spiritual philosophies, Wei fire-engraves wood tablets and sculptures of his own design with calligraphy and other images. If this free preview whets your appetite, return anytime through December 31 without additional charge except regular Gardens admission to view his works, all of which will be for sale.

"The Spirit of Ikebana"
October 13, 10:00 - 11:30 am
The pleasures of traditional Japanese flower arranging may appeal to you, yet you may have trembled to enroll in one of our Ikebana workshops for instruction in a seemingly deeply mystifying discipline.

Now you can get your feet wet first, as Patricia Deridder, founder and executive director of Yume, delves into the history and philosophy of Ikebana in this presentation, drawing on 45 years of learning and practicing the tradition and a life-long pursuit of its meditative Zen ethos. Then watch her demonstrate basic arrangement principles used by masters of the Ikenobo school of Ikebana in the most classical form of the art, dating back 550 years. Dare to dispel your fear of Ikebana for only $10, which does not include Gardens admission. 

Tea Ceremony
October 28, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Elegantly artistic and reverently performed, the tea ceremony has been a benchmark of culture and cultivation in Japan for nearly 1,000 years.

In classical kimono and following time-honored etiquette, a master of "The Way of Tea" will prepare and serve you a cup of matcha, or powdered green tea, and a traditional Japanese sweet to nibble.The economy of movement of the master and the understated offerings made to the partakers belie the hidden emotions that this ritual can stir in you.

Because this is one of our most popular events, you must reserve space to attend the ceremony. Please send your name, telephone number, and the number in your party to yume.gardens@gmail.comby Oct. 21. The cost is $15, plus Gardens admission. Gardens members pay only the ceremony fee. Not intended for children for under 15.

Ikebana Flower Arranging Workshops
We offer classes in two schools of Ikebana arrangement. Centuries-old Ikenobo emphasizes classical design rules, resulting in displays representing the quintessence of the Japanese spirit. Modern Sogetsu utilizes a broader range of materials to achieve arrangements more fluid and free in form.

There is a $25 instruction and materials fee for Ikenobo workshops, payable in class to the instructor in cash or by check. Sogetsu workshops cost $35 per lesson. Advance registration is required for both categories of workshop. Please let us know which session(s) you wish to attend through an email to

Ikenobo School Classes:

Oct. 17  6:00 – 8:00 pm
Oct.  22 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Nov. 12 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Nov. 14  6:00 – 8:00 pm
Dec. 5  6:00 – 8:00 pm
Dec. 10 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sogetsu School Classes:
Oct. 8  Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Nov. 19 Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm

A Reminder About Our Hours and Days of Operation
Weather permitting, we are open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm daily, except Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, 25 & 31, and New Year's Day. Certain Ikebana classes and events such as artist receptions may be held after hours.

And In Closing . . . .

Many Yume members contributed to our year-long 2016 campaign to raise funds to shield our replica Japanese house and its neighboring farm shed with monsoon-proof metal roofs. This was a long-sought goal, because heavy rains damaged the clay walls of these traditionally designed and constructed buildings every summer, leading to costly repairs.

Because of our members' generosity, we were able to roof the buildings in time to beat the 2017 monsoon. And lo and behold! Not a drop entered and not a fleck of clay was moistened. To all who contributed to this happy outcome, we send you our sincerest gratitude for your continuing support of Yume. Thank you!
Copyright © 2017 Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson. All rights reserved.

March 11, 2017

Arizona Matsuri 2017- Bingata!

I survived Matsuri weekend in Phoenix on Feb. 25-26! The weather was just about perfect- not super hot like last year, so I was able to wear a kimono rather than a yukata this time.
I had a taiko performance on Saturday and Sunday I wore my favorite bingata kimono with a hakata tsuke obi. Tsuke obi is a 2-piece pre-tied obi with taiko musubi (knot), a wonderful thing when you are pressed for time early in the morning when everyone has to get to matsuri on time! When I first found this obi, I wasn't sure about it since it seems like cheating and I wasn't crazy about the red and blue colors but now it's one of my favorite hakata obi and looks really nice with this kimono. The other obi I usually wear with this kimono is a semi-formal Nagoya obi, with some metallic threads. I wanted to stay more casual for the festival and this obi is thinner and only one layer. Plus the black and red zori I'm wearing below are more casual than the metallic gold and red zori I would have worn with the more formal Nagoya obi.

I managed to find some fun items this year- hanabi tabi sox, white stretch tabi (so comfortable!), and a few fun items from the flea market that they have at Matsuri: an embroidered haneri, a tenugui with birds, and a Japan Airlines apron! The apron seems to have a name on the pocket: "Hanae Mon". It's fitted and wraps around, fastens with Velcro and ties in back. It's super cute and it's perfect for hosting my next cocktail party!

Sorry this pic is fuzzy!

The haneri (Detachable collar for an under kimono) was a great find and really beautiful- chirimen silk in a soft deep pinky-red-orange color that is really difficult to photograph. The embroidery is multi-season, with bamboo, plum, butterflies and little geometric shapes and just a touch of metallic threads. I haven't had a chance to see what kimono it will go with but I may start working on that tomorrow. 

Tenugui- these look suspiciously like seagulls!

And of course, I found a kimono! I need to take some better photos very soon and figure out what obi goes with this, but for now, a teaser. Check out those pinstripes!

More photos soon, especially of that new kimono- it's is amazingly retro-cool.
See you all later!

January 10, 2017

Arizona Matsuri is Almost Here!

Woohoo! Arizona Matsuri is coming! My taiko group is about to start rehearsing for our gig at the 33rd annual Japanese festival in Phoenix on February 25-26! We are playing on the ASU stage at 11:00am on Saturday, so come to Phoenix and see one of the best Japanese festivals in the USA!

It's a great festival if you are shopping for kimono items- every year I find something amazing- obi, obi jime, happi coat, geta, zori, yukata, kimono, and more. Last year I found three summer weave obi in silk and polyester mesh. A few years ago I found one of my favorite kimono there- a lovely bingata patterned komon with elegantly long sleeves.

Bingata pattern detail. 

The weather is usually fabulous (Sometimes warm!), the entertainment and food is always amazing, and we now have a shady sake and beer garden! Sometime in the next few weeks, I will be looking into what kimono or yukata I will be wearing on Sunday- I hope to post something here.
I hope to see you there.