Along the Silk Road - The Casual Warrior's Kimono blog!
"Holy Shiromuku! What are all of these things?" - A glimpse into the wacky world of kimono dressing accessories. 0
In my shop I have a section that, to the untrained eye, seems kind of strange! There are various boards, pillows, stiffeners, bands, clips and ties. .
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of kimono dressing accessories! Here we'll break down some of the mysterious items so they will be a mystery no longer.
1. Koshi-himo: These are soft ties, usually sold in packs of three. Every single kimono wearer I know (myself included) has about one BILLION of these indispensable ties. They come in packs of three, traditionally. (At least) one for keeping your juban closed and (at least) two for the kimono: One tied around the waist or hips for hem-length adjustment. The other one is tied under the chest to secure the neckline.
2. Datejime: This is not dissimilar from the koshihimo in that it's used to keep the kimono closed. This wider tie (sometimes it's a wide velcro belt) is tied around the waist for extra security.
3. Obi makura: Literally, 'obi pillow'. When tying the obi, the obi makura is the perfect tool for achieving certain fancy bows with extra 'fluff'. They also help to keep the obi bow 'lifted' to combat the effects of gravity.
4. Obi ita: Literally 'obi stiffener'. This is a long, thin oval shaped board that slides into the front wrap of the obi (sometimes it wraps around the body) to keep the folds of the obi wrinkle-free.
5. Erishin: A collar stiffener. It is a thin piece often made of plastic that you insert into your juban (under-kimono) collar to make it stiff and sturdy.
6. Korin belt: This is a stretchy piece of elastic with clips on either end. This is a useful tool that can be attached to the kimono collar or juban collar to keep everything in place.
Additionally, there are tons of other fancy (kimono dressing = kitsuke) accessories to make dressing simpler. Hip pads, kantan eri, magic obi aid, flattening bras, etc. But these are a post for another day!
It may seem like a lot, but an important thing to remember is: The ultimate goal of wearing a kimono is to bring out the beauty of the garment - not the body. The beauty of the individual is meant to be displayed in their their grace of movement and their elegance showcased while wearing this traditional garment.
- Elizabeth Carter
Grand Sumo Special! 0
Around here, we are HUGE (no pun intended - haha!) fans of Sumo. To celebrate our love for Japan's national sport - any purchases $20 and above will receive an exclusive gift!
But, here's the catch - the gift will only be available for the duration of each Tournament. That's four tournaments a year. Fifteen days each.
So come visit us during the next Basho! (And any other time, too!) You're always welcome!
- Elizabeth Carter
We have Obento. We have furoshiki. It's a match made in heaven. 0
Bento and furoshiki wrapping cloth. They're perfect together! It's one of those classic combinations like PB&J, Tomato soup and grilled cheese, meat and potatoes, bacon and eggs. . you get the picture, right?
In Japan, it's a standard practice to envelop your perfectly prepared lunch - (so carefully crafted in your bento) - in a furoshiki cloth; either with a seasonal element, a favorite design, or an auspicious motif for good luck on any big event day! Big meeting, big test, presentation? Let your favorite pattern inspire you and brighten your day!
Unwrap the gift of your lunch (or snack) to fuel you for whatever lies ahead.
Because bento and furoshiki go so well together, we'd like to offer you a special discount if both are purchased together. Purchase ANY bento box and we'll take $5.00 off a furoshiki of your choice so you can enjoy the ritual of enjoying mealtime Japanese-style, your way!
- Elizabeth Carter
Top Ten Places to Wear Kimono! 0
One of the most frequent questions I always get from shop visitors is - "When/Where will I ever wear this?"
My standard response is always, "When/Where would you NOT wear this?"
But, for those of you out there looking for a more solid answer as to where you can wear your favorite kimono ensemble and all of the glorious accessories that go along with it, here are my top ten suggestions.
1. Sushi Restaurants. (Especially if they have a special room with traditional tatami flooring!)
2. Formal Events. If you're looking for something special to wear, kimono - especially the more formal and semi-formal types such as houmongi, tsukesage and kurotomesode) are always perfect attire. For an extra special ensemble, play with different obi and attempt to match the motif with the event!
3. Japanese Festivals. Here is an article listing Japanese festivals around the country. Why not travel to one and show off your awesome ensemble?
4. Anime Conventions. They're a celebration of all things geeky and nerdy! Lovers of gaming, cosplay, manga and anime, and various other fandoms unite for a weekend of parties, costumes, parades, contests and more. Share the love of Japanese culture by going traditional! A popular place for many to dress up in formal kimono or go casual in yukata!
5. Gallery Exhibitions. Kimono are often considered wearable pieces of art; so why not WEAR art while looking at art? (Look around and see if any local galleries near you are hosting any Japanese-themed exhibitions for extra style points!)
6. For Your Birthday. Because it's your day! Why not dress in your favorite to feel extra special?
7. Get-togethers/parties. Hopefully your friends know about your love of kimono and won't be surprised when you show up in one! Even if they don't they're bound to be impressed and fascinated by your style.
8. Kimono de Jack Events. Weird name; fun events! What is Kimono de Jack?
Kimono de Jack is an international kimono lovers group. It was founded in 2011 in Kyoto, and has since grown to include many countries across the world!
9. Outdoor picnics. - When dining outdoors and enjoying the scenery! The Japanese have always derived great pleasure from the changing seasons. Why not enjoy some time outdoors in your yukata?
*Bonus points: Grab your obento wrapped in your furoshiki and use it as your picnic basket!
10. Photos: Show off your style and elegance to the world by taking some photos in your kimono! Post to Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and amaze all of your friends and family!