Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kimono quest

Recently I've been visiting recycle shops to look at old kimonos and obis. Someone has asked me to find them a nice used kimono and I am on a quest. While kimonos are unaffordable at regular price, in the recycle shops one can find nice kimonos for about a 10th (or more!) of the original cost. But so many different kinds!

And the glittering obis are amazing too, but what is a Westerner going to do with an obi? They make nice table runners... or wall hangings... Though many of you who have been following my blog since last year and have seen obis, (remember? Mrs. Kaneko's mother-in-law's obis fell into my hands) I'm showing pictures of a couple that I have found recently at about $50 an obi.

And would you look at this picture I found on the Internet. It is a picture of all the accessories and things one needs to wear a kimono! No wonder there aren't many people who don't dress traditionally anymore. I may have a kimono (Tetsu's mother's) but I don't have the proper under kimonos for the type of kimono. Nor the proper obi, nor the proper slippers, nor all the ties, nor the matching handbag etc. etc. Just keeping all that straight deters young women from wanting to wear kimono. (Not to mention the cost!)

And when I say proper I mean that if one is of a certain age then you can only wear certain kimonos. Or depending on whether you are married or single, or depending on the season, or depending on whether you are going to a wedding or a school observation day or a funeral. It would be a major faux pas to wear the wrong kimono to an event in the wrong season!

In the kimono advertisement next to the picture of a kimono set, the shop was offering 14 pieces (bags, socks, ties, kimono, obi, slippers etc. etc. etc.) for a special price of about $5000. Regular asking price for all that was $15,000!

No thank you. I'll stick with Tetsu's mother's kimonos or the recycle shops.

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