This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.497.
Left: Otaiko, Square bow of Tokyo women, the leopard pattern design
Right; Otaiko, Square bow of Osaka women, has to have a powerful face design of a leopard to give punch- favorite design of Kansai (western) Japan, and the brand's name has to be shown
In one of the previous newsletter, I wrote about the difference in taste of fasion in Osaka and Tokyo. People believe all old women in Osaka LOVE animal print, but actually there are animal print fans both in Osaka and Tokyo. However powerful design like a big face of a leopard or elephant always reminds us of women in Osaka. Everyone has this image so strong, even though it is not true.
I drew the above image using obi. In Tokyo, it is lepard's design and in Osaka, it should be a big face of leopard.
New obi are often sold without completed-they are tailored as the wearers like. The end of obi bolt, the weavers' names, companies, the material or the title of obi are often woven. Usually they tell which weaving company they are from.
Regarding kimono, sometimes, the craftsman's signature or brands' names are dyed or woven but they come on right front where they will not show when they are worn.(so people do not think you are showing off). Modesty was considered to be the biggest virture.
Just as that, the end of obi which has woven part to tell where they are from are folded in and the part cannot see, usually. Without unstitching the part, you cannot see.
However, among vintage obi, we find some obi tailored with the part shown.
Older dealers say, `oh this obi is from Kansai(western area, usually refers Osaka). They always show off!'. Then the dealer from Kyoto become angry, and say `we are in west but we never like that way'. They think it is very ugly. Even among western area, Osaka seems unique in every way.
I started writing this newsletter to make fun of Osaka people's taste, but noticed, all the famaous fashion brands in the world, like Hermes or Gucci, they have big marks on their products. This may be the world standard! The western way of obi tailoring(showing off the marks of the brands) may be the royal road of fashion.
In Kyoto too, we can imagine, women are walking wearing Kawashima brand's obi, waiting for other people to notice, and give compliment. They must be quite dissappointed if nobody commented about the obi.
Osaka people are not that patient, they walk triumphantly, showing off the brand on the tare, the most prominent part of the bow in the back, as if they are carrying Chanel bag in the town.
Is that ugly? NO, it may be the way people should do! They may be the true cosmopolitan!
My opinion is, fashion should be enjoyable thing, so both ways are fine! Of course I am an Osaka merchant, and love the both ways:-)