Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No. 472.
Do you know what it is? Probably men have no idea.
It is a collar used by Maiko. Maiko wear susohiki furisode - the furisode has to have folding at the shoulders, which makes the maiko look unmature.
(Children's kimono have those foldings for shortening). Then Maiko wear a long dangling obi-darari obi and around the neck, a fancy collar like this is worn just to show only a small part.
You can see how fancy those collars are. The collar is filled with elaborate and thick embroideries. I cannot imagine how long the work like this takes...
Only a very small part of the collar shows, but they have this whole work, taking endless time. The tremendous work just for a collar? However, this is how Maiko dresses. They have to have luxurious items like this. They exist to offer dreams, that is their mission. They cannot wear ordinary things. They have to be like a goddes from a different world. Those collars have been made for them.
It seems the things have changed - there are not so many patrons who can afford real luxurious kimono or accessories. When we went to one of the Okiya in Kyoto, Maiko and Geiko were interested in used eri(collars), and told us if they make a new fancy eri, they have to pay more than US $1200. Obidome(fanch obi buckle)also is very expensive. They said they were told by okiya okasan(the owner), they should protect the buckle if they ever fell down. They could hurt themselves but not the buckle. Young new Maiko are given accessories from elder Maiko or Geiko. They keep them very carefully and treasure them for a long time.
The above colllars have been all sold. We have some more, which are not in very good condition like the above collars, but we hope you enjoy checking our new arrivals.