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Otakon 2014 Kimono Workshop

Hello to everyone who graciously came to our Kimono Classroom 101 workshop bright and early!  On behalf of Rachel, Collin, and myself, I’d like to thank everyone again so much for your participation and all of your great questions! I hope you enjoyed the workshop and learned everything you wanted to know!

As promised, here are the slideshow and the buying guide. I’ve also included the link in a new menu option at the top named “Convention Documents.” These links are to a Google Drive that is accessible to anyone with the link. For the sake of compatibility, I’ve saved both documents to the drive as PDFs. You will also find my slideshow on kimono fashion in Meiji Japan in there that I’ve presented at other conventions in case anyone was interested.

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, you can like the Facebook page associated with this blog via the “Like” box at the upper right hand part of the blog. There you can easily contact me as well as see other things that may not have made it into a blog post here.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped make Otakon 2014 a blast! I always enjoy bringing kimono to conventions and will continue to do so in the future!

EDIT: If anyone has any pictures from the workshop, I’d be very happy and appreciative if you could post them to the Hikari Kimono Facebook page!

I dressed my friend Kelsey for her Coming of Age Day in a furisode she rented.  I actually dressed her twice, the first time was a test run a few days before the actual ceremony.  She went to a local temple to take pictures.  The furisode was just gorgeous and I think the kitsuke came out very well. There’s not much else to say, so here are the pictures.

成人の日に、ケルシーという友達に彼女が借りた振袖を着せました。二回着せました。一回目は試しで、二回目は成人式のためだった。近くの寺に行って、写真を撮りました。振袖は本当に美しかったです。着付けもよかったと思います。それで、写真です~

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This is just a short post about my friends and my hatsumoude, or first shrine visit of the year.  A bunch of people from the dorm including myself went down to a temple called Koushou-ji. There were quite a lot of people and food vendors and stuff which was nice, but since hatsumoude is supposed to be to a shrine not a temple, we set off on what would become a rather long journey to find a nice shrine to pray at. We eventually found one and there was no one there, so it was quite peaceful.

初詣のついての短い更新です。寮に住んでいた友達と近くの興正寺に行きました。食べ物がたくさんあったけど、もちろん、興正寺は寺なので、それから祈れる神社を見つけるために長旅しちゃいました。やっとの思い出、誰もいなくて静かなのを見つけました。

I wore my blue wool kimono with black accessories and I wore my awesome new haori that my friend’s hostdad bought me. The crests are nami-chidori and the lining has ume with a nightingale.

青いウールの着物を着て、黒いアクセサリーを使って、友達のホストファザーが買って下さった羽織を着ました。家紋は波千鳥で、羽裏に梅と鶯が染まりました。

at Koushou-ji 興正寺で

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the new haori  新しい羽織

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at the small shrine 見つけた神社で

and then this was the view of Nagoya from the hill 坂からの景色

On New Years Day, we went to Atsuta Jingu, a very famous shrine, but there were a ton of people, so we just made our round and left. お正月に熱田神宮に行ったけど、人が多すぎたから、見回して出ました。

the line to go pray at the shrine 祈りに来た人々

Back in November, my study abroad program (IES) brought us to Kyoto. It was our final and biggest trip for the semester, so of course I decided to wear kimono My friend Brittany decided to finally get her first kimono set, so I helped her get all the stuff she needed before she left. She chose a beautiful komon with red and orange maple leaves, which was perfect for the season. Her obi was a green hanhaba obi with owls. I chose my blue wool set

Our first stop on the trip was Kiyomizudera. The weekend we went was apparently the peak of the momijigari (maple-viewing) season, which is evident from this picture.

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I also helped my friend John get a full kimono set before we went on the trip. He’s really tall, so opted for hakama, which worked really well. We also got randomly interviewed in front of Kiyomizudera by a Japanese reporter asking us why we were in Kyoto and why we were in kimono.

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Later, we made our own sensu!

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That night, we did the coolest thing I did the entire year: had an ozashiki with geisha! Our geiko was my favorite geiko Tsuneyuu’s younger sister Tsunemomo, our maiko was Hisamomo, and our jimae geiko was Tsunekazu. I asked if we could talk to them one-on-one after we played Konpira Fune Fune. Tsunemomo was very excited to learn that her older sister was my favorite geisha, and that I had gone to see her in the Gion Odori and she said she’d tell Tsuneyuu. =D They also both did a dance for us.

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The next day, we went to Nijojou and walked around the garden. Only John I wore kimono the second day.

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The nightengale floors of Nijojou
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Nijojou
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After that, we went to Kinkaku-ji.

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The last day, we went to Arashiyama which is a beautiful little place outside of Kyoto, about 20 minutes by train. We got to ride the rickshaws for quite some time and went through the bamboo grove.

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There are a bunch of other cool pictures in the full set here.

Kyoto -Fall Break

*Note -Flickr’s new default HTML size is square and I didn’t realize it until I was done making the post. I apologize for the inconvenience. You can click them to enlarge them. Looking at it now, it may be good it turned out this way because this post is quite image-heavy. But again, I apologize. Going back to fix them would be nearly impossible.

Back in November for fall break, some friends and I went to Kyoto for 3 days. This would actually become the first of three times I would go back to Kyoto. It was an amazing experience. It was raining the day we got there, and we got rained on pretty hard, which was kind of a bummer, but luckily, the weather was beautiful the other days. I didn’t wear kimono the first day, luckily. The only place we visited the first day was Kiyomizu-dera, which admitted looked pretty cool in the mist from the rain.

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And here’s Kyoto Tower in all of its hideous glory.

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The next day, we did all kinds of stuff and I spent the whole day in kimono. First up, in the very early morning, we went to Ryouan-ji. I really enjoyed Ryouan-ji, but we had to go through it relatively quickly in order to keep our schedule. The path leading to Ryoan-ji is also very serene and relaxing.

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Next up was Kinkaku-ji. Stereotypical as it is, it’s a must see.

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Then, one of my favorite experiences in Japan, I went to see the Gion Odori. It was absolutely amazing and everything I ever hoped for. And I got to see my favorite geiko, Tsuneyuu, play a really funny role in one of the scenes. I bought the o-cha seki so I got to watch the geiko do the tea ceremony and we were served special sweets with Gion-Higashi’s crest. And we got to keep the plate! I also picked up the program. During the performance, the geiko and maiko all suddenly reached into their kimono and threw special tenugui (towel-like things) and I caught one cause I had a second-row seat! Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures of the performance, but I got some pictures of the theater.

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(Tsuneyuu is the one on the right. She played an ugly woman who was after a man who had a girlfriend already. So she prayed to become beautiful and her wish was granted and she ended up getting the man. When she was ugly, she had really funny eyebrows and the whole scene was just great.)

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To top the day off, I was finally able to meet Yukiko! We strolled around Gion and talked and got some really good ramen. Finally, Yukiko treated me at a very nice bar in Gion! It was super fancy. (You should go check out Yukiko’s site. She has an Etsy with a lot of nice kimono accessories and a custom-made kimono making business.)

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On the last day, we spent the rest of our time exploring Fushimi Inari Taisha. It is absolutely immense. We didn’t even make it to the top, but we did make it to one of the lookouts which apparently has a better view than the top anyway. It is also beautiful. The sheer number of torii is staggering. As a souvenir, I bought my self a little nine-tailed fox plushie.

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And here is my haul. I also picked up some Sailor Moon manga, as well as a book on becoming a kimono instructor.

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And here is the full set if you ‘d like to see it. There are some more beautiful pictures in there, especially of Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Halloween 2013

First of all, I’d like to say I’m really sorry about my lack of updates! I have several planned that I will be posting as soon as possible.  If you didn’t know, I’m currently in Japan studying abroad until May.

まず、更新の欠如ですみません!なるべく速くポストをいつか作るつもりです。5月まで日本に留学しているのは現状です。

When I went to update the blog a a few weeks ago, Flickr was beta-ing their redesign, and the HTML coding was missing from the beta and the original site, so I had to wait until they fixed it.

数週間前に更新しようとしたが、Flickrは更新中でHTMLが消えてしまったので、直ったまで待つより仕方がなかった。

I didn’t wear kimono from the time of the last post until Halloween except for Otakon, which, due to  a lack of pictures, I regretfully will not be posting about.  So, for Halloween, my dorm and one of the other study-abroad dorms threw a Halloween party, so of course, I took the opportunity to wear kimono.  For this occasion I decided to wear my newly-bought-in-Japan yukata with spider webs and new black hakama. The hakama are a tad long, so I need to hem them a  bit, it’s kind of tedious, so I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

この前のポストの時からハロウィーンまでOtakon除いて着物をきていなかった。写真の欠如があるものだから、残念ながら、Otakonについてはポストしない。とにかく、ハロウィーンのために、私の寮の人ともう一つの寮とともにハロウィーンパーティーを催した。当然だが、着物を着た。日本で新しく買ったクモの巣の柄の浴衣を着て、新しい黒い袴を履いた。袴はちょっと長すぎるので、ちょっと短くしたいけど、まだるっこいから、まだしていない。

Ryouji and I in our kimono.

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Brittany in a lolita cat outfit.

ねこロリ姿のブリッタニー

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After the party, I changed into something a bit warmer and more comfortable.

パーティーの後で、もっと暖かくて着よい着物に着替えた。

Babette as a maid.

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Ayaka and I.

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Jen as sushi.

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The next post will be up shortly, and I have a lot lined up, so please look foward to it!

次のポストは速く作るつもりで、たくさんが並んでいるから、お楽しみにしてくださいね。

Back in the beginning of April, the East Asian Languages and Literatures Department at my school had its annual “Spring Fling.” I did a whole kimono demo last year, but to save on time this year and do something different, I did a fukura suzume musubi demo. My friend Mariah volunteered to be my model. I dressed her in kimono behind the scenes, and then just did the obi for the demo. It was actually my first time tying fukura suzume, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I had to reference my book a few times though. At one point I had to have my teacher come over and hold the tesaki while I tied the obi-jime cause I didn’t have enough hands! I’m also jealous how well this kimono fits my friend haha. I didn’t get to wear kimono because as soon as I was done, I had to run to class. =/

四月四日East Asian Languages and Literaturesっていう学部はSpring Flingっていうパーティーをしました。去年着物デモをまるごとしたけど、今年違うのにして、ふくら雀デモをしました。Mariahっていう友達はボランティアのモデルでした。じかんがなくて、デモの前に着せて、デモのために帯しか結ばなかったのです。実はふくら雀を結ぶのが初めてだったので、見た目がよかったとおもいます。本を何度か見なくてはなりませんでしたけどね。私の手だけ足りなかったから、先生が手伝わなければ一人でできなかったのです!その先すぐ授業があったから、着物を着れてしまわなかったのです。

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How did I do? ^_^

Sorry for the lack of posts everyone! I have a few that I’ll be doing soon. I’m just kind of doing the ones I want to do right now, so the events that I’m writing about will be slightly out of order. These two events happened on the same weekend, so I’m putting these two together.

We’ll start with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU – a univeristy down the street from my own) Matsuri.  There were some great live performances and a ton of different Japanese foods. I had okonomiyaki, my favorite! My friends and I went down in a group, and I decided the weather would be perfect for my blue wool ensemble. When we got there, we saw two of my Japanese teachers, Tomoda-sensei and Otani-sensei. Tomoda-sensei took some pictures for us:

CMU Matsuri
Everyone ^_^

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My ensemble.

I really need to make or buy white haori-himo, but a random and very short shoelace worked just fine, if not a little tacky.

The next was Pitt’s Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri) at which I had a table where I dressed up anyone who wanted to in kimono. I had a few different outfits to choose from. No guy did it, but I had several girls who were very excited to get dressed up.

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Pratyusha

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Diana

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My kouhai Liv

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My other kouhai Gina

Two ladies at the table beside me were doing calligraphy for  people. I got to speak to them in Japanese, something I don’t get to do much with people who aren’t my teachers. They wrote “hikari kimono” for me and it’s beautiful. They are very talented.

This event was really tiring, but spreading the kimono love makes it fun! ^_^

 

Katsucon Panel Pictures

Hello everyone!

If you attended my panel at Katsucon and got pictures, could you comment on this post or send me an email please? I didn’t think to have anyone take any for me, and I’d like some for the blog. >.<

Thank you to everyone who came, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you also to my volunteer Emily and Andy who recognized me from my Youtube videos!

Kimono Demo for Pitt JCA

Back in October, I did a kimono demo for the Japan Culture Association. I dressed a fellow Japanese student, Loren. Since it was near October, I dressed her in my usual Halloween ensemble. Everyone really seemed to like the demo, and I got a bunch of questions afterwards.

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