Hello ICHIROYA newsletter readers. How are you doing?
This is Iori writing. April has started. It is hot like early summer here!
This is the month people start new life at a new environment or new grade at school in Japan. Lots of flowers are blooming, especially sakura(cherry blossoms) was in full bloom beautifully early this week.
My daughter has just entered the elementary school on the 4th April and we had an entrance ceremony. I decided to wear a kimono then, but I only had a Furisode kimono, which are for unmarried women. I asked my mother to borrow one of her kimonos and she gave me a Houmongi kimono. The houmongi kimono was the one my grandmother gave her (my mother) when she got married. Surprisingly, my mother has never worn the houmongi kimono! I liked that at first sight, so the houmongi kimono was woken from its almost 40years long sleep. Amazing!
Here let me talk about a little bit about Yomeiridougu( things a bride prepares for marriage). Once upon a time, marriage was not for lovers, it was for families to strengthen the bond. Women had no heirship. A betrothal money were exchanged in an engagement between a groom and a bride. Parents of a bride prepared lots of things for their daughter’s marriage as a distribution of property. They were such as chests of drawers, book shelves, 'kaioke' (a hexagonal container to store clam shells, which are used ancient shell matching game - 'kaiawase'), go-game board, nagamochi(wooden box for kimono or other equipment), hinadougu(girl’s ceremony thing), kimonos, obis and so on. These Yomeiridougu were prepared with parents’ wishes that their daughter could have a happy life without inconveniences. This practice has been keeping up today but the things has been changed with the times. Nowadays, for example, parents buy her daughter household appliance, furniture and so on for her new life.
My grandmother bought her three daughters a chest of drawers, kimonos and fukuro obis for each one. Kimonos are houmongi, mofuku(for mourning), tomesode and iromuji kimono. When I heard that from my mother, I thought “How much did she spend for them!?” My grandmother lost her husband when she was young and she raised her four children by herself. It must be very tough and need patience but she was a very gentle and calm grandmother to me. My mother told me “Grandma would be very happy if you wore this kimono.” I thought so, too. My daughter also liked that kimono so I am very happy. I would like to wear it more often.
Among our items for sale at ICHIROYA, there should be lots of items which someone gave to their loved ones. Each one was a part of somebody’s life. Thinking of that, I feel I like those items with much more love.
Don’t you think that, too?
Today I will introduce kimonos and obis for summer.
These are refreshing to look in hot summer.
Thank you for reading till the end.
Please have a nice weekend!