On April 29th, I travelled to Nagasaki to visit Akemi san's vintage kimono collection.
Nagasaki is really far from Osaka(about five hours taking shinkansen) but I really wanted to go, and was so looking forward to see this exhibition.
She has been a vintage kimono collector almost 20 years. She was inspired by Ikeda Shigeko, who is the most well-known kimono collector. Ikedasan is very famous (I think most vintage kimono fan in Japan know about her), but Akemi san's collection also is awesome.
I met Akemi san for the first time but I felt like I have met her before. She had this plan of showing her collection for a long time and this time finally, her dream came true at the classic building at Dejima in Nagasaki. Dejima is an unique and historical area
Here is the flier of her kimono collection-
The photo on top of this artcile shows three kimono in her collection. The furisode in the center with the exceptional design is the work from Daihiko, the most famous kimono dye company and do you recognize the motif? It is Nanban toraizu, showing the scene of trading with merchants from Spain and Portugal and those byobu screen with Nanban traizu motif have been made in the end of 16th century to 17th century.
This particula vintage furisode has this Nanban toraizu with bold cloud and other eccentric design. She found this furisode on the net and thought this should come back to Nagasaki! Actually, this kimono became a decisive punch - she wanted to use the room in Dejima which is owned by Nagasaki city but at the beginning they were not willing to let her use the room. Akemi san made a presentation showing this particular kimono along with her wonderful collection and they gave her the permission to use the room.
Also please notice the design of the two kimono in the same photo with Nanban toraizu furisode. You can see the two kimono so alike! Akemi san found the green furisode first and then noticed the orange one also with the peacock from our store. One is furisode and the other is houmongi(shorter sleeves) but she noticed they were almost the same design! The green one has rhodorendron and the orange one has chrysanthemum, so we may be able to say they are like sisters, two kimono made for spring and autumn at the same time with the same design. She let us know before but seeing them totgether in person was such a great joy.
During the exhibition, Akemisan talked about each kimono and obi enthusiastically. Her genuine love towards vintage kimono showed straightforward, and I could see visiters gradually fascinated by her talk. Without her talk, people still could enjoy the beauty of those kimono collection but she actually showed how they were worn and appreciated by telling about the technique, seasonal design and the back gound by displaying kimono on torso. She herself was wearing charming vintage kimono too.
I hope you enjoy seeing her collection:
(I took the photo and made the album, I hope you can see the photos)
Akemi san says she was `bit' by the charms of vintage kimono and cannot help telling other people about the beauty. I was enchanted by Akemisan's passion and recognized again how preious and unique those vintage kimono are.
Akemisan is charming and she is really petit size, so she can wear almost all vintage kimono without any problems! There used to come Christian missionaries in Nagasaki in 15th century. I thought Akemisan is like a missionary, conveying the charms and value of vintage kimono!