First Task - get a Kimono / 最初のタスクー着物を買う

Timing is everything. That this project began at the end of the year is quite fortuitous because that's when most department stores have their 'annual kimono sales'. Kimono prices can range from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars, depending on the handiwork, the fabric and the craftsmanship, like hand embroidery.
The first sale of the year found me at Daimaru in central Tokyo, which is one of the few department stores to also sell 'recycled' kimono. Recycled is the term for 'used' or second-hand kimono. The advantage is that recycled kimono are less expensive. However, there aren't many recycled kimono in my size (172 cms/ 5'8'') - the lovely clerk shows the typical size of kimono.
But we sifted through piles of kimono to find something. The true measure of fit is in the arms - a kimono has to hit the bone at the wrist when the are is extended, and body - there needs to be enough excess fabric in length (usually 30 cms) to provide overlap at the waist.

着物を買うにはまずいいタイミングが大事。このプロジェクトは年が終わるころに始まり、デパートの着物セールとちょうど同じときだった。着物の値段は手織りかどうかや織物の種類に大変よる。新しい年の最初のセールは東京丸の内の大丸デパートにあった。このデパートではリサイクル着物を売っていた。リサイクル着物は新しい物よりもちろん安くてよかったが、私のサイズ( 172 cms/ 5'8'')の着物を見つけることはかなり難しかった。しかし、ずいぶん探したらいいものを発見した。着物のサイズを自分に合わせるのには一番大事な事は袖の長さである。着物の袖は腕を伸ばしたときにちょうど腕の骨までにつくべきなのだ。それと、ウェイストのところで着物の織物が30cmほど余るはずなのだ。

This was my first ever experience trying on kimono. I couldn't believe how how luxurious and soft it is. This one is silk,, and I can see why I'll have to take care to keep it in this condition (for years!) Although my goal with this project is to borrow, share and wear as many different kimono as possible, I need to have one of my own. And so, on December 23rd I bought my first kimono.


Now to find out how to wear it.... さあ、どうやって着るのでしょう!

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