Sumo ー 相撲

When I first came to Tokyo, in October 2007, it was for three months. My husband was working every day, and I don’t know how it happened, but I ended up watching the November tournament and I got hooked.


It might seem like a strange sport to fall in love with, but I love the ceremony, the athleticism, and most of all the various characters that make up the upper ranks of sumo (the white guy from Belarus, the two battling Mongolian champions, etc.) For each of those 15 days, 4:00 pm would find me in front of the television, watching the best 15 battle, round robin style, until the one with the most wins was awarded the Emperor’s Cup.


Watching sumo on TV is fun; but getting the chance to watch it live is even better. It’s so exciting to hear the crowd cheer for their favourite wrestlers. You can even pass lower ranking sumo wrestlers in the hall after their matches.



**New York City– ニューヨークにて

MODE & CLASSIC NEW YORK presents the spring / summer 2012 collection featuring Japanese traditional fabrics and Kimonos on the Opening Night of Brooklyn Fashion Weekend.

Time:            Thursday, September 29, 2011
                     Door opens 7:00PM Show 7:30PM
日時:         2011年9月29日(木)
                     開場:19:00    開演:19:30

Location Industry City at Bush Terminal
241 37th Street, Brooklyn NY 11232
(Near 36 St. Subway Station, D N R Train)

Admission Free, RSVP required

RSVP:        rsvp@bkfashionweekend.com



Reflections on Kimono - 着物について

Even though, in Tokyo, the summer heat is still here, August 31 marks the end of 'yukata season', and marks the time to get back into hitoe (single layer kimono). After looking so forward to yukata season, I have to say, it wasn't my favourite. One of the reasons was my lack of wardrobe options. One of my inspirations to begin this project was to explore the eco-fashion side of kimono. Kimono is a perfect example of eco-fashion; they are usually recycled, or passed down, and worn again and again. Yukata (lightweight summer cotton kimono), on the other hand, was impossible to find recycled (in my size), so as I had to buy a new one, I decided to limit my purchase to one. This meant that I wore the same yukata for 2 months, and to be honest, I found it tiresome. At least with kimono, I have 5 to choose from, and feel like I have some variety.

The second reason why yukata season was less exciting in reality, than in my dreams, had to do with the weather. It was soooo hot this summer, that every time I wore my yukata, I felt like I sweat so much, that I had to wash (and press) it for the next time. Does everyone also do this. For some reason, I was afraid to re-press without washing, and yet - I couldn't re-wear the yukata after wearing it all day without re-pressing it. It was a lot of work.


 So now we are back to hitoe season (the month of June and the month of September) and then, I'm quite excited, back to full kimono season in October.




The Sartorialist in Tokyo - ザ・サトリアリストが東京に

If you love fashion, then he needs no introduction: New York blogger/photographer Scott Schuman pioneered fashion photography in blog form when he began The Sartorialist, in 2005. He travels around the globe, taking pictures of people who dress in a way that catches his eye. This week he was in Tokyo - and these yukatas caught his eye....

ファッションが大好きな人には、彼は紹介するまでもない。NYのブロガー/写真家であるスコット・シューマンは、2005年に「ザ・サトリアリスト」を始め、ブログという形態でファッションを紹介する先駆者として活躍。世界中を旅し、彼の目を引くようなお洒落をしている人を撮影し続けている。そして今週、彼は東京に滞在 – この浴衣姿が彼の目を引いたようです…

Trends spring from Schuman's blog... so perhaps we will soon see yukatas on the streets of New York or Paris!!



Reflections on Kimono - 着物について

model: Tamaki Hiroshi - 玉木宏

Remember back in June - I was reflecting on how a kimono is like a super-hero costume for generating kind comments and sentiments? Well, turns out I'm not the only one who recognizes this!


Last week, a friend introduced me to a man in kimono; a very daper, well-heeled man in kimono. Turns out this man-in-kimono owns a kimono company in Kyoto, spent some time in Canada when he was younger, is about the same age as me. Needless to say, we had plenty to talk about. When we got to the topic of kimono - he has had similar experiences to mine - but better! He started wearing kimono full- time about 5 years ago and he said he has noticed that the service he gets (stores, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc.) is better by merely being in kimono. And he's not alone. He said some of his customers have reported being seated before other patrons in restaurants, getting better tables, even getting better cuts of sushi - all by wearing kimono.


Now, the service is Japan is stellar. Really. Imagining it being better is difficult. But is it true? Is there a subtle industry deference to traditional dress? Are kimono wearers reaping secret benefits? If you're still not convinced to get out your kimono by the stories in this blog, aren't you at least tempted by the lure of a 'better piece of sushi?'



Summer Kimono Event - 夏の着物イベント

This week we held our first event! Our Summer Kimono Event was a chance to visit my kimono school and take a lesson on how to wear yukata. The event was open to any woman; those who already had yukata and those who were trying it for the first time (one of the lesson prices included a yukata).


Choosing a yukata and obi is not as easy as it sounds. First, there's your personal preference of colours, and trying to find a yukata in a colour combination - with a print - that you like. Next is the challenge of finding a contrasting obi that suits both the yukata and your taste.


Of course, all of that is the outside, there are still the hidden pieces that bring it all together. However, the pieces are so few compared to kimono, that it makes yukata the perfect kimono to learn on.


Even the obi's are easier for beginners, as they are smaller and tied in the front (and then pulled around to the back).


In the end, everyone had fun -


"Thank you for giving me a wonderful opportunity to revisit my culture" - S

"A big thank you for organising the event - I like yukata much more than kimono." - J

Then a few of us went out for a drink in our yukatas. I tried to pick somewhere that would look as 'pretty' as we did - so I chose Frames (in Daikanyama). But in the end, it looks like we are celebrating Christmas in yukata! I wonder if it's possible to celebrate Christmas in yukata in Okinawa.... hmmmm!



Dressing Yourself (online resources) - 自分で着付け(オンライン資料)

Many of the followers of this project live abroad, can't commit to taking kitsuke (kimono lessons), or merely need a quick refresher on 'how to get dressed. So today I'll share with you my favourite online resources (all in English):


Kimono / 着物:

Before I even found Hakubi Kimono School - I was looking for online sources about kimono and kimono dressing. This video amazed me the first time I saw it and it has has been my inspiration - she gets dressed (and ties her obi) in 6 minutes! I'm still trying to be that fast!! (I'm down to about 15-20 minutes, now).


This is also one of my favourites - whenever I need Nagoya (full-size) obi tying help, I turn to a Canadian (pure coincidence) who films this tutorial in her tea house in Canada. In a little over 5 minutes, she covers how to tie an Nagoya (full-size) obi.


Yukata / 浴衣:

And now that we are in yukata-season, if you can't make it to our 'learn to wear yukata' Summer Kimono Event, this online tutorial might help. A simple, how-to for yukata wearers.


And last but not least - before I learned how to tie Nagoya (full-size) obi, I used to turn to this online instruction guide. Now that we are in yukata season - this is great as a quick guide to hanhaba (half-size) obi bow.


And lastly, when all the fun is done here's a brief reminder of how to fold your yukata and/or kimono for the next time.

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