Latest Entries »

Some New Men’s Stuff

So I decided to start getting more men’s stuff for my collection. I hope I’ll get to use them in Japan next year too. I’d still like to find a few more things: a formal haori, informal hakama, another kaku obi, and another cool colored kimono.

I finally found a black/blue kimono I really like, and it came with a haori too. It’s also nice and big.

Black and Blue Men's Kimono

Black and Blue Mens Haori

It has light blue threads!

Black and Blue Men's Kimono Detail

Then I found this thing called a nakagi. It’s like a dounuki for guys I guess. I mean, I guess that makes sense, but I never really thought about it…

Nakagi 3

Nakagi 4

It has this really cool, fine design.

Nakagi 5

I’ll probably wear these for Christmas, so look forward to pictures!

Italian Class Halloween

I’m so sorry everyone for being away for so long! With school having started back up again, I’ve been rather busy, but I have a few things to write about which I’ll hopefully get to this weekend!

Even though we weren’t really affected by it here in Pittsburgh, except for several days of rain, due to Hurricane Sandy here on the East coast, the mayor pushed Halloween back until this Saturday, so more on that later.  But for Halloween, my Italian class was supposed to dress up as something that reminds you of Italy. My teacher is just facinated that my friend Shay and I are Japanese majors, and she likes to make examples out of us in class often. So for Halloween, she asked me if I could dress her up in kimono for class, which I was more than happy to do.  She was just so excited all week to be a professoressa di giapponese, which made me very happy!  She realted it to Italy because Madam Butterfly is one of her favorite operas. Choosing to forgo the extra credit, Shay and I dressed up in kimono too.  I got to wear my casual men’s kimono I got at Otakon, and I went with the Meiji-esque collared shirt underneath (I still need some casual hakama for it to look right). I dressed my professor in front of the class, and I was glad to see they seemed quite intrigued.  We also got Italian goodies and class let out early, so that was really nice too. lol

SAM_2506

SAM_2508

Otakon 2012

I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long; I was preparing for Otakon for the month and a half prior.  But I have a few posts to make up for it. Friday was cosplay day, and I dressed up as Mori Ranmaru from Pokemon Conquest. I’ll do another blog post about that later.  Friday was pretty chill, I bought a new men’s gray tsumugi so now I have some casual men’s wear.  Rachel, Collin, and I went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, and of course I had to have the general Tsao’s; how else do you judge a Chinese restaurant?

Untitled

For dinner, I went to a pretty authentic Irish restaurant called Tir Na Nog in the Inner Harbor with my friend Cooper. It’s really nice and is on the second story, overlooking the harbor. I got fish and chips and we caught the opening ceremony of the Olympics. We sat there in awe, it was just amazing! Afterwards, I made Cooper do an impromptu photoshoot for me by the fountain.  Looking at the pictures now, I was a tad disheveled, but hey, we were walking around in 9o° F+ weather. I’m still really happy with them.

SAM_2194

SAM_2195

SAM_2197

SAM_2201

SAM_2202

Saturday was our big day!  9:30-11:30AM workshop was a huge success! We got about a 40-50 person turn out.  The models were so happy to be dressed up, which made me really happy. We did men’s kimono with hakama, women’s yukata, women’s informal (komon with nagoya obi), and women’s kurotomesode with fukuro. If you were at the workshop, tell us how we did in the comments, and tell us what you would like to see or have us change about it for next year! Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

SAM_2208

SAM_2219

SAM_2230

Then, we had the pleasure of helping people dress; it was a lot of fun! I got to speak to man who was a JET; just what I want to do! so that was really nice. I also got to talk to a guy who worked in Japan, and I loved listening to his stories as well. While I was helping the guys, Rachel was helping out the girls.

SAM_2234

SAM_2235

Then I went off with my friend Cooper for a photoshoot with his friends/cosplay group. They did Hitman cosplays, which admittedly, I know next to nothing about. I more or less took pictures for him, and I got some pics of the Zelda photoshoot beside us while I was at it. And I got some Assassin’s Creed for my friend.

SAM_2241

SAM_2253

SAM_2252

SAM_2239

SAM_2237

SAM_2238

We visited my favorite vendor, Yokodana Kimono, before he headed off for our big dinner. I just love these two; they are wonderful.

SAM_2257

Dinner was a blast, and the food was great. I was so happy to see everyone have such a good time.

SAM_2263

SAM_2262

SAM_2261

Rachel, Collin, and my sushi boat.

SAM_2265

And then mochi icecreaaammmmm!!! Red bean (my favorite) and green tea!

SAM_2267

SAM_2270

Once we were back at the hotel, I had Jean take some pictures for me.

SAM_2272

SAM_2273

SAM_2274

SAM_2275

And Izzy’s rave outfit.

SAM_2277

I just went and hung around the convention a little more, then went to hang out with Cooper for the night.
Sunday was pretty chill, no cosplay or kimono. That’s it for now! I have a few more posts I’m working on, and school will be starting soon, so I’ll be able to pay more attention to the blog again.

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!

My shishi kimono finally came in (after much hatred towards my mail lady…) and I got the chance to put together the ensemble I’m going to wear to my cousin’s wedding in October! Here’s to hoping the weather is kind, it would be really unfortunate to pass out in the middle of the ceremony!  The kimono drapes really nicely. The original lining is spotty, but the fabric is sound. The hiyoku (fake white collar layer) has recently been replaced, with crisp chirimen silk. The obi has silver pagodas with golden maple and silver and green pine, so it will be perfect for the season, and the pagodas go with the temple lions perfectly! I need to find a gold and silver fan yet, though.  To tie in the hakoseko, I chose the obi-jime Kim gave me which has orange in it. Also, my tabi will be white; I couldn’t find my white ones, so I just used my plain black ones for the sake of not being barefoot. You’ll also have to excuse the Myspace-style bathroom (dirty!) mirror shots, as my room is poorly lit, and you couldn’t really see anything that well.

SAM_2040

SAM_2016

SAM_2019

SAM_2018

I just threw up my hair and stuck in my kushi comb for fun.

SAM_2044

SAM_2050
The inside okumi has a shishi tail!

Full set here.

The kimono, obi, and hakoseko:

Shishi Kurotomesode

Fukuro Obi with Goju-no-tou, Momiji, Trees, and Mountains

Hakoseko with Cranes

This time for the kimono challenge tag, I’ll be covering numbers 5 and 8.

今日、着物チャレンジの五番と八番だ!

1. How did you discover and get into kimono?
2. Your dearest kimono item(s).
3. Your most used kimono item(s) (not counting jubans, datejimes etc.).
4. Your least used kimono item(s).
5. Your favourite coordination(s) so far.
6. What you like and don’t like about kimono.
7. Kimono confessions. Did you know that…
8. Your dream kitsuke items (or at least items you really really want but can’t get for whatever reason).
9. Your biggest kimono fears.
10. Your biggest kimono inspiration.
11. Your kimono collection.
12. The evolution of your kitsuke.
13. Your special kimono memory.

5. Your favourite coordination(s) so far.
私の一番のアンサンブル。

First up is my bamboo and yabane komon with mahjong chuuya obi. I love how summer-y this outfit is. Definitely one of my ensembles for Otakon.
初めは竹と矢羽の小紋とマージャン昼夜帯だ。 夏みたいなアンサンブルが好きだ。 こらは Otakon でぜったい着る。

SAM_1928

SAM_1909

SAM_1918

Full set here.
セット

Next up is my Meiji style yabane komon and hakama. The kimono and hakama are from Kim, as well as the fan I was carrying that day. I absolutely love the Meiji era, and this outfit takes me back in time.
次は明治スタイル矢飛白小紋と袴だ。着物と袴はきみこからだ,扇子も。 明治時代が大好きで、これを着ろ時に懐古趣味があるのだ。

SAM_1464

SAM_1563

SAM_1559

And last, my second ensemble (and kimono) ever, which I put together for Halloween 2010. I haven’t worn this ensemble since, but I’ve worn the kimono one other time. Everything just came together so well and it really got that spooky vibe I wanted.
最後は私の二番のアンサンブルだ。ハロウイーン2010年に着たのだ。 あの時からまだ着なかったけど、着物は一度着た。 すべてよく似合って、薄気味の悪いのが欲しかった。

downsized_1029002050.jpg

Blue-gray Momiji Houmongi

8. Your dream kitsuke items (or at least items you really really want but can’t get for whatever reason).
私の夢の着付けの物。

This dance kimono. It and it’s twins have escaped me 3 times now. One day it will. be. mine.
この踊り着物だ。 これとダブルは三度逃げた。一日ぜったい私のになるよ!

Untitled

This entire ensemble. It has plaid and fleur-de-lis! What more could I ask for!?!?
すべてのアンサンブルが欲しい。 プラードとフーローデリースがあるのだよ!ほかに何かあるだろう?

プリント

This yukata. It’s on noppin now for like $300 dollars. It’s in a bunch of summer kimono magazines, and I’ve just fallen in love with it.
この浴衣も欲しい。 今noppinにあるけど、$300なんだ。。。たくさんの夏の着物の雑誌にあって、これが好きになった。

Magazine yukata 3

Tanabata is my favorite Japanese holiday, and this kimono is just awesome. The color and starry pattern are just perfect.
七夕は一番日本の祭りで、この着物はすごい。 色と星空は完璧だ。

tanabata kimono

And finally, my dream kimono, which escaped me about 2 years ago. I still mourn for it.
末に、 私の夢の着物で、 二年前逃げた。 まだ悔やむ。

Dream Kimono

For the sake of having the information easily accessible for anyone browsing the blog, I’m going to put together a list of all the things you’ll need to wear kimono! I’m also going to give you the DIY for certain things, cause who wants to spend money when you don’t have to? If your starting from scratch, visit I want a kimono! So… now what: parts one and two first.

Yukata

  • koshi-himo (1-3) (lengths of fabric used to secure the kimono or obi)

You’ll be using these to put your kimono on, or help you with your obi. Carrying a spare one of these with any kimono is never a bad idea! They make official koshi-himo for kimono, but if you have an elastic belt or shoe strings that can go around you twice, that works equally as well!

Yep! That’s it!

Kimono

  • juban (under kimono)

These are pretty cheap and plentiful on eBay. You really only need one and they can be used for all kimono. They keep your skin oils and sweat off the kimono. You may want to trick yours out with a collar stay, or at least a safety pin and a shoelace (it will make a world of difference, I kid you not).

  • koshi-himo (2-5)

You’ll need at least 2 this time, 5 if you want to be safe, or depending on whether you’re using some other things (read ahead).

  • date-jime (waist band) and/or korin belt (kind of like suspenders)

A date-jime is a waistband put under the obi to keep the kimono from becoming a mess and the collars from shifting. It can either be a strip of tightly woven silk or an elatic band. Easily replaced with an ace bandage.  A korin belt is a piece of elastic with clips at the end. I love mine and can’t live without it, but many people don’t use one. I use it with my ace bandage, but the ace bandage will be enough to get the job done.

  • collar clip

A clothespin or thin chip bag clip will do.

  • obi-clip

Most people don’t use an obi clip, but it will help your obi keep it’s shape as you move around. The easiest thing to do is get a big binder clip for 50 cents at the office supply store and tape one of the arms of the clip to the clip itself. This way, you can flip one arm down, but the other one won’t be able to move.

  • obi-ita (obi stiffener)

This keeps your obi from crinkling under tension. A piece of cardboard may work once or twice, but you really need something better. Think cheap cutting board like material, or two layers of laminated paper or a plastic folder. As it was so poetically said on Immortal Geisha, it’s good if it goes “wooba wooba wooba” when you shake it. It should be about 15cm wide and 30-40cm long. You also may want to tape around the ends for protection.

  • obi makura (bustle pad)

Literally “obi-pillow,” this gives almost all obi their shape. It’s a little pad with cords on either end. Easily DIY’ed. Get a piece of cardboard, an old stocking/leg of a pair of pantyhose, and scrap fabric/old (clean) socks/some dish rags, and a rubber band.  Take the piece of cardboard, make it 22×7 cm(!!). Get your choice of stuffing and put it on one side of the cardboard. Make it decently fluffy, as the fabric will generally compress over time. Rubber band it to keep the fabric in place. Get your stocking (the thicker/sturdier the better) and put the pad in the middle. Instant makura for probably no money.

  • obi-age (bustle sash)

Obi-age are lengths of fabrics (usually silk) of various design that covers the obi-makura.  You can buy a real one, or choose some fabric from the fabric store that is to your liking. Sheer fashion scarves work here as well. It should be wide enough to completely cover the makura and long enough to be tied around your body once.

Red Shibori Obi-age with Cranes

  • obi-jime (obi cord)

Obi-jime are cord (usually silk) that secure the obi knot. For this, I really don’t think there is a good substitute for a real one, but any relatively thin/flat cord could work, as long as it goes around your body about 1.5 to 1.75 times.

SAM_1763

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.

This time for the kimono challenge tag, I’ll be covering numbers 3 and 4.

1. How did you discover and got into kimono?
2. Your dearest kimono item(s).
3. Your most used kimono item(s) (not counting jubans, datejimes etc.).
4. Your least used kimono item(s).
5. Your favourite coordination(s) so far.
6. What do you like and don’t like about kimono.
7. Kimono confessions. Did you know that…
8. Your dream kitsuke items (or at least items you really really want but can’t get for whatever reason).
9. Your biggest kimono fears.
10. Your biggest kimono inspiration.
11. Your kimono collection.
12. The evolution of your kitsuke.
13. Your special kimono memory.

3. Your most used kimono item(s) (not counting jubans, datejimes etc.)

My black and white hakata obi. It matches almost everything I own. I usually try to bring the focus of my ensembles towards the kimono, so a very basic obi like this allows me to do that. It’s also all-seasonal.
私の黒と白の博多帯だ。 何事の着物に似合うのです。 地味だから、着物に的を絞る事ができる。毎季節に似合う。

Black and White Hakata Obi

And my plaid kimono, that I’ve already said is one of my favorites. I wear it to every convention I go to.
愛用の着物と言って、私のプラードの着物だ。 毎コンヴェンションでこれを着る。

Dance Kuro-tomesode/Houmongi Hybrid with Plaid

I almost exclusively wear my white obi-age, as I don’t have many and it usually goes with my outfits.
白い帯揚げをよく着る。 帯揚げはたくさんがないのだ。私の衣装にいつも似合う。

White Obi-age with Asanoha, Tatewaku, Segaiha

4. Your least used kimono item(s).

My mofuku kimono of course. I have a strange fascination with mofuku and I love my Taisho mofuku, but it can’t be worn anywhere but funerals, and even doing that here in American would be a hard decision.
喪服なんだ。 喪服の変な魅力があるんで、対象の着物が好きだけど、葬式にだけ御着できない事でアメリカにも難しい決定なんだ。

Mofuku Kimono

I’ve also never worn this tsumugi komon. It’s small, and doesn’t really suit my tastes anymore. I’m actually looking to sell it ($15 plus shipping) if anyone is interested.
決してこの紬小紋を着なかった。 ちいさくて、私のスタイアルに似合わない。 これを売りたい(十五ドル+出荷)だれか買いたければ。

Tsumugi Komon with Abstract Pattern

Recent Wins 1

Just a quick post with some recent wins. First off, I got a hakoseko from Shinei’s website. A hakoseko is very close to what we call a clutch purse; it’s generally smaller, though. They were extremely fashionable in the Edo era, and are now mostly used in the wedding outfit (which itself is from the Edo era as well). These days, some hakoseko have many accessories, including a birabira and a tassel. Here is mine, which has cranes, my favorite motif!

Hakoseko with Cranes

My next win I got super lucky with. I scored this kurotomesode for $10. It has some awesome embroidered shishi (temple guardian lions). I think this will be the kimono I wear to my cousin’s wedding in October.

Shishi Kurotomesode

Shishi Kurotomesode Detail

I’m going to try something new. In order to practice my Japanese, I’m going to try to make my posts bilingual. I apologize for any mistakes or strange word choice; my Japanese is still very basic.

最近の買取で早いポストだけだ。一番、しねいのサイトではこせこを買った。 はこせこは、アメリカでクラチイパースが同じようだ。 それは江戸時代中粋だった。 このごろ、たいて結婚式の衣(江戸時代からも)で使ってる。 今日、はこせこは小物があるんだ、なんてびらびらと房。これは私のです。 一番モチフーの鶴があるんだ。

次の落札はとってもラッキーだった。 十ドルで買った。 すごい刺繍された獅子があるんだ。 いとこの結婚式のl日に着るとおもっているんだ。