Yesterday I was very lucky to experience my one and only kimono lesson, just days before leaving Tokyo for good! It was arranged by a lovely woman called Kyoko who I met at Machida antique market. Her daughter Yuki has regular lessons and she offered to show me how to put a kimono on herself, and then she and her lovely teacher showed how to put one on me. It was a very special experience and I feel honoured to have ben invited along to participate in it.
I was amazed at the amount of layers that are used. Yuki started by putting a thin cotton under kimono on, and then she put this thin, silk under kimono on. This is tied tightly closed and then a thin red obi is tied over that.
The kimono is then put on. Note how the collar has to be away from the neck as it is more attractive that way. It is held centrally in place with a clip. Yuki took time to measure the kimono so that it was the exact length off the floor. The kimono is then folded over at the waist and held in place with elastic straps.
Another thin obi is then tied over the folded kimono at the waist, and it is only then, that the proper obi can be added. Yuki's was a beautiful one that complemented her soft pink kimono.
Yuki started by tying her obi at the front (so that she could see what she was doing) and then swivelling it around to the back. It was stunning!
The obi is finished off with a hot pink obijime. This is a rope or cord that comes in many varieties, colours and ways of tying and often has a bead added too.
It was then my turn to have a go and the ladies chose a beautiful blue and white shibori kimono for me to wear. It felt surprisingly comfortable having it put on.
The obi was just as stunning as the kimono and a turquoise obijime was added as the finishing touch.
Look how amazingly they tied the obi! There are many variations on tying the obi - such an art.
The finished result. Yuki's lovely teacher Fukada Masae is on the left and Yuki is on the right. We even got to have a mini tea ceremony with scrumptious green tea and sweets.
Thank you ladies for a truly special afternoon!