Embroidery Kiku obi
Dear Ichiroya newsletter readers
Hi, how are you doing? This is Mitsue writing.
It is already December, so just a month is left this year. Incredible! People begin to hustle and bustle at this time of a year. I'm going to clean my house and do 'Danshari'. 'Danshari' means reducing unnecessary things and bring harmony in life. 'Dan' literally means cutting off, 'sha' means throwing away and 'ri' means separating from the deep attachment to things which are not need. It might be hard to do, but I have to do now. Ganbarimasu!
Anyway, have you ever heard of 'Kiku'(chrysanthemum)dolls?
Kiku dolls are one of art crafts performing life-sized figures with 'Kiku'(chrysanthemum) and leaves. Usually the clothes are made of them, and the head, arms and feet are made of plastics and other materials. It is said the origin is from late Edo period(1603-1867) in Edo (present Tokyo). The themes are from the historical stories or popular dramas of that time.
Hirakata city, north-east of Osaka prefecture had been famous for Kiku doll exhibition until 2005. It had continued for 96 years, but closed its history due to the aging and the lack of of the craftsman successor. Now displays of the Kiku doll which civic volunteers made are exhibited at parks near the city hall or along the main street to Kyoto. Kiku dolls are deeply rooted to the citizen as a civic culture, so displays will continue from now on.
My uncle had lived in Hirakata city for long time, so he often took me to the Kiku doll exhibition every years when I was a child. However, Kiku dolls were so scared to me! I didn't want to go there, so my face looked depressed in old photos. In this October, I went to Hirakata city and saw a few displays at a park. I was not scared any more, on the contrary I was very interested in the scenes of the Kiku dolls. This year's theme is 'Sego-don', a NHK drama of Saigo Takamori, which is broadcasted on TV now. He is famous for closing the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration. If I were interested in history in my childhood, I would have enjoyed more. Oh, what a regretful!
This photo shows Kirino Toshiaki (a member of the Satsuma feudal clan) and Saigo Takamori. They were very close friends.
This photo shows Shimazu Kiku (consort of Nariakira), Shimazu Nariakira (11th feudal lord of the Satsuma feudal clan), Atsu-hime (adopted daughter of Nariakira and married to 13th Tokugawa shogunate later) and Saigo Kichinosuke (former name of Saigo Takamori).
I also saw Halloween display with 'Kiku'(chrysanthemum). It was so charming!
Today, I introduce some items with 'Kiku'(chrysanthemum) design.
Kimonotte original from vintage kimono design:
Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!
Dear Ichiroya newsletter readers,
Hello, How are you doing?
Megumi is writing.
December is coming soon, so it's gotten cold recently.
Every year, I am looking forward to going to see maple leaves.
But I have not gone yet this year.
Because the terrible cold has been lingering…
The top photo was taken by my photographer last year.
Last month, I went to Gifu Prefecture.
Gifu prefecture is located just in the middle of Japan.
There is Hida Takayama that was the stage of the Japanese movie, ‘Kimino na ha (Your Name)’.
And there is Shirakawagou that was the stage of The Japanese animation, ‘Higurashi no naku koro ni (When They Cry) ’.
I am not a Otaku of animation.
I saw them because the original Kagura Mai(Japanese tradition dance) appeared in the two works.
Above pictures are from Shirakawa-go.
Shirakawa-go is a famous sightseeing spot and I do not think I need to explain it.
At that time, it was not the autumn leaves season in Osaka.
But Shirakawa-go had autumn leaves a little.
This is a picture of Shirakawa Hachiman shrine.
It is a model of Furude Shrine of ‘Higurashi no naku koroni’.
Its heroine, Rika is a shrine maiden.
And she danced original Kagura Mai.
However, it seems that they didn't hire a traditional Kagura Mai choreographer for this work.
(If they asked me, I would have choreographed with no charge...)
By the way, I heard the rumor that Kagura Mai of the movie, ‘Wakaokami ha shougakusei !’ being screened is fabulous.
But I have not checked it yet.
I may be an anime otaku ...
At last, I took the same pictures as the movie, ‘Kimino na ha’.
I wore Furisode Kimono for the first time of this season.
I think that used Furisode Kimono is suitable for going out.
I like Hakama and I often wear it.
Because I can wear Kimono in a shorter time than tying Fukuro obi.
The current girl’s Hakama is made for students to spend their school life actively in Meiji period(1868-1912).
So I feel that the Hakama is easy to move and easy to walk.
And I like its retro and cute atmosphere.
Hakama is also sold at Ichiroya.
Please search our website.
I would like to recommend autumn design and Furisode Kimono.
Maple leaves design
Furisode Kimono www.ichiroya.com
Nishakusode Kimono (Shorter sode) for wearing with Hakama
Thank you for reading this to the end.
See you next time.
Dear ICHIROYA news letter readers
Konnichiwa, Ogenkidesuka? This is Iori writing.
"Autumn for arts"
In Japan, we say Fall is the best season for arts and entertainment.This is probably because it is the time of year when art galleries and exhibits are organized. School festivals or cultural festivals are held in autumn, too.
This time, let me write about my memory of this autumn.
My daughter has started learning 'Nihon Buyo'(Japanese Traditional Dance) since this June by the cultural program of the town where we live. This program was organized to spread traditional Japanese culture to successors of the next-generations.
This is a half-year program and the students take a part in the cultural festival in November. At first, my daughter asked me what the 'Nihon Buyo' is, so I showed it to her on the Youtube. Then she said "I want to do this!! I want to dance like this in pretty kimono!!" It was the first time that she wants to learn something.
So, she started to take the Japanese traditional dance class once a week.
Usually, a teacher gives one-on-one lessons to a student, but there are some students in the class of this program. My daughter was the youngest student in the class and older girls were kind to her. She really enjoyed dancing.
The way to dance of Nihon Buyo is very slow and hard to take rhythm.
Besides, the six years old girl could concentrate on something for only 15 minuets! She always runs around the room and the Yukata (she wears Yukata at lessons) is opened in front....oh no... However, the teacher is very kind and knows how to catch children's interesting. She teaches them how to sit, bow and walk in correct manner before dance.
My daughter gradually came to like dancing.
Finally, the day has come.
Kids got dressed in Kimono, put on makeup and done their pretty hair. They looked so excited in pretty kimono because they usually wear Yukata at lessons. My daughter wore a pre-tied Obi, which I used for my 7 years old child's celebration. It is easy to tie and looks gorgeous! Of course, she ran, ate and jumped in kimono though, it was easy to re-tie.
The stage was large. She has never stood on such a big stage. Lots of people were sitting in front of her and looking at her. She must got nervous in such occasion. My heart was beating fast, too. However, she did very good. Their stage was over, and I was relieved very much. All kid's dances were so cute. Their teachers also danced and that was wonderful!! It was too bad that taking pictures was prohibited.
There are two more lessons in this program. She keeps dancing at home almost everyday and I am happy that she likes it.
I saw some dancers wore Susohiki-kimono at the stage.
The way to dance with the bottom hem trailing on the the floor was beautiful.
I introduce some Susohiki Kimono , gorgeous Obi and accessories.
Vintage Kimonos and obi are also good for display!
Folding fan for dancing
Thank you for reading till the end.
Have a nice weekend!
Photo from Sheila Kimono Style
こちらが彼女の去年出版された力作 SOCIAL LIFE OF KIMONO
「英語では a picture paints a thousand words（一枚の写真は千の言葉にも匹敵する）といいますが、着物の美しさは言葉ではどんなにしても語り尽くせないのです。だからこのフォトブックをつくろうとおもったのです」とシーラさんは語っています。
【The Kimono Closet 箪笥びらき】のサイト
着物産業は年々衰退していて 年間の売上がいくらいくらで・・・といった統計は耳にしますが、個人の声を集める調査はおそらくないのでは？実際の話、着物に何がおきているのか この調査からいろいろなことがわかってきそうです。
Photo from Sheila Kimono Style
Hello from Yuka. Do you remember about this book I introduced in our past newsletter?
(Here is the past NL about her previous book, Social Life of Kimono)
I was so impressed by this book (Social Life of Kimono) written by Sheila san. The book was based on her research of kimono world, she covered not only the history and present situation in kimono industry in Japan but also the movement of kimono wearers both in Japan and all over the world. This time I would liketo introduce her new book, which is totally different from the previous one.
The new book is her kimono style book with full of photos taken by her friend photographer, Todd Fong. The photos were taken in her neighborhood or near her university (she is a professor at Jumonji Gakuen Women's University), so they look supernatural, and we can tell she is really enjoying kimono in her everday life.
Why did she published this new book?
`In English there is a well-known saying, a picture paints a thousand words. But I think that you can speak thousands of words without being able to express the beauty of kimono. That is the main reason why I decided to make this photo book'(from her book)
Each photo shows her own kimono coordinations. We felt so happy and honored, she wore many obi and kimono from Ichiroya too, including the furisode she is wearing (the photo on the top).
She wears kimono almost everyday, here are some photos from the book and you can see the changing of the seasons by her coordinations.
I like the photo of her in furisode (on top) with her beaming smile but also I like this photo too, it is a real natural scene from everyday life.
Each style has flow and her love of kimono is showing!
She loves both old and new kimono- she treasures kimono from Meiji era(Meiji 1868-1912) and also tries punk kimono fashion with leather belt.
In her previous book, her research and the viewpoint of kimono in social life showed us the reality of kimono. As you may know, we tend to have fixed idea about our own culture. Kimono were aound and the existence of kimono is getting less and less as time goes by but oh, well, that's what happens-that kind of mood is what most people have, I think.
Sheila calls herself 'a kimono trend hunter'.
`For kimono to survive as fashion and not as some kind of art object, it is necessary to grasp trends, people's kimono lifestyles, and the needs of kimono end-users. '
To spread the information, she started her project called `The Kimono Closet'.
She is examining the kimono closets of fifty Japanese women from their 20s to there 80s. She visits their homes, count the numbers and types of kimono, note where they came from and how they are stored. Besides that, she asks participants to tell her their problems with kimono life and the stories of kimono that have special meanings for them. Not the annual kimono sale numbers but she is collecting the real voice from the individual's closet! That must tell what is really happening. We have this contradiction - kimono are pretty, precious and have memories of mothers, grandmothers but kimono are not really convenient, nor easy to wear (needs a lot of care!).
Her book is inspiring and fun to show kimono as fashion. A young girl who was not interested in kimono at all, saw the book and says `KAWAII!!' For her, the book was a fun fashion book.
I am sure you enjoy the book, and in between photos, she writes her message very clearly both in English and Japanese. Enjoy!