Reflections on Kimono − 着物について




One of my goals, for my Year in Kimono project, is to be able to get dressed in about 10 minutes. The project is now three months old and already I have gone from taking 90 minutes to get dressed to now needing about 25 minutes! People  always ask me if I can dress myself. And I proudly answer “yes!” This, of course, is thanks to my kitsuke (kimono wearing) classes.

I recently watched a special on NHK about ABC Cooking school, and they have over 240,000 students and it made me wonder how many women take kitsuke. Wearing kimono is like cooking, in that it’s not difficult, but someone should teach you some basics. I have studied 12 hours of a 36-hour course, and I feel comfortable and confident dressing myself. My10-minute goal is not far off.

In a recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times a Tokyo mother, writing about her desire to wear kimono to her child’s graduation, concluded that although kimono, with it’s endless possibilities of color and fabric choice is beautiful “those aesthetic and creative pleasures are increasingly not worth the trouble for modern women, so kimono wearing is likely to continue to decline.”

I don’t think there is any reason for decline. Kimono wearing is a skill, like cooking or riding a bike, that once learned, can bring so much enjoyment.

 - published in a/r/e/c/o/l/e monthly magazine, April Issue.   アレコレ月刊の4月号に出版

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