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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.


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.







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.


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.


at Koushou-ji 興正寺で


the new haori  新しい羽織


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.





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.





Later, we made our own sensu!


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.








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


The nightengale floors of Nijojou





After that, we went to Kinkaku-ji.





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.







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.










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



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.












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








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.

(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.)





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.)








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.










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


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.


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.


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.


Ryouji and I in our kimono.



Brittany in a lolita cat outfit.



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


Babette as a maid.



Ayaka and I.



Jen as sushi.



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


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。





Spring Fling 2

Spring Fling 3

spring fling 2013  kanisawa


Spring Fling 1




How did I do? ^_^

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.







Blog Redesign!

Hi everyone!  I’m excited to officially share with you the midnight premier of the new blog design! It actually took me quite a long time to get it to my liking. I think it’s much more mature looking than the old blog design, and much prettier to look at.  All the widgets are in the same place in the right sidebar, and the page tabs are up at the top. There is a new addition at the very bottom of the page displaying the most popular posts and pages, the site stats, and monthly archives. The blog theme also came with a random box in the upper right which said something stupid, so I thought I would add my own little haiku! ^^

I chose Tokyo Tower to be the blog’s new theme because it is one of my favorite pieces of Japanese architecture. To me, it also reminds me of scenes from Sailor Moon, which in turn reminds me of my childhood (which is also why I chose it over Tokyo Skytree -another favorite of mine). I also think it is a wonderful symbol of Japan -romantic, beautiful, forward-looking.  I also wanted something to go along with the name Hikari, which, if you didn’t know, is the Japanese word for light, so in that regard, I think the nighttime skyline with Tokyo Tower as it’s focal point fit perfectly. This theme (called Motion for you other WordPress bloggers) was one of the only themes with a transparent base, allowing for full view of Tokyo.

I’m really glad it turned out just like I envisioned! If you have any comments on anything that needs tweaking, or any suggestions, please leave a comment on this post! Thanks for visiting everyone!

I changed the widgets on the right side of my blog  a little bit, so now there is a link to my Facebook group from which you can receive notifications of new posts if you are subscribed to the group. You can still find the email subscription link at the bottom of the widget bar if you don’t want to use Facebook. I also added the link to my YouTube channel. While it’s pretty scarce right now, there will be more videos to come!  Also, at the bottom of the sample Flickr photos, there is a link to my photostream. I’ve also gotten rid of the redundant search bar which I never noticed. If you’ve tried to use it in the past, you might have noticed it didn’t work, but I’ve recently added tags to all my old post, so it should work now.

If you check the kimono information tab at the top of the blog, you will notice that I’ve finally finished the glossary. I will still be adding terms as I think of them. You will also notice that below that, I’ve given a kanji look-up for a ton of words, and defined the individual kanji to help deepen our understanding of kimono terms.

Under the kimono blogs sub-tab, I’ve added a lot of new blogs! If you’re an IG member and you see your blog listed, please state your blog and IG username so I can put a name to the blog. Thank you!

The next thing I’ll be re-doing is the eBay links sub-tab as I’ve added quite a few sellers to my favorite list since I last edited the blog list. After that will be the IG links sub-tab.