Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Kitsuke

Josh and I put on our kuromontsuki yesterday and did a quick photoshoot for New Year's since I have to work both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. I hope you enjoy the photos! Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas! メリクリスマス!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you have a happy and safe holiday. Here's a picture of our Christmas tree (which barely fits in our tiny apartment):


Friday, December 21, 2012

Helpful Resources Added!

I've started working on a section of the website that will have helpful information for the kimono-wearer.

The first section - Kitsuke Basics - is up, and I will be adding to it frequently. Under that section, I currently have a list of kimono and obi types as well as komono (all with pictures) and an obi and kimono compatibility chart.

 Please check back to see more additions!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Tea Ceremony

Yesterday was our last tea ceremony practice for the year. Since the next time we meet will be our New Year's chaji, our sensei had us practice koicha. For those of you who are unfamiliar with tea ceremony, there are two ways to serve tea: usucha (thin) or koicha (thick). Usucha is less formal; koicha is the most formal. What makes the tea "thick" or "thin" depends on the amount of matcha. For thin tea, you use about 1 1/2 scoops of matcha per person. For thick tea, you use 3. Thick tea actually has a sludge-like texture! Also, for thin tea, each person is served in a separate bowl, but for thick tea, everyone sips from the same bowl (cleaning the rim in between guests, of course). Only a few of our members are advanced enough to serve koicha, so the rest of us needed to know how to be a proper guest. The sweets this week were this wonderful little cakes of matcha, white chocolate, and cashews. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself!

I admit, having never done koicha, this was much more involved and difficult than usucha! I am hoping I will remember everything for chaji!

After our lesson on koicha, we did some one-on-one practice. Josh and I are still beginners, so I practiced bon temae (tray ceremony, an abbreviated version of the regular usucha ceremony). I still need much work! Josh is better than me, so he practiced the full temae. I snapped a couple shots of him after I finished my temae.

I finished up the lesson by being the main guest for another group member. Josh got a couple pictures while we practiced.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pagoda Tsukesage

I am so excited!! I had looked at this kimono several weeks ago, but due to budget and need for more casual items, I decided against buying it at the time. Since Shinei is doing their end of year sale right now, I was looking at the larger, less expensive items, and this kimono was marked down by 50%. There was no thought required as to whether or not to buy it! It does have some stains, but nothing gigantic. It's 167cm long, and the wingspan is 132cm. I'm assuming it's meant to be more of a fall piece, considering the yellow and orange color of many of the trees.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quick Tea Ceremony Kitsuke Post

I was definitely in a rush to get out of the house for this month's tea ceremony practice (as evidenced by the wet hair, no makeup, and use of a tsukuri obi), but I managed to get a few pictures in before we left. This time, my ensemble consisted of a matcha green iromuji, a tsukuri obi with brown and tan ichimatsu, manju kiku, and momiji, a dark red obiage, a green and white ichimatsu obijime, a sensu obidome, and dark red zori.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pink Sakura Komon and Blue Hana Ro Komon

These are my recent spoils from Shinei's end of the year sale. The first is this blue ro komon with some kind of flower motif. It's a generous 174cm long with a 140cm wingspan!

The second one is a pink striped komon with sakura motif. I can't wait til spring so I can wear it out! It's also larger with a 168cm length and 135cm wingspan.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blue Striped Share Fukuro Obi

I haven't been buying much lately due to tighter finances, but this ended up (with shipping) costing me only about $20, and I'd been eyeing it for a while now. It's a blue striped cotton share fukuro obi.

For those of you not sure of what is the difference between fukuro and share fukuro, share fukuro is a casual type of fukuro obi, usually without metallic threads, typically shorter than regular fukuro, and meant to be tied in regular otaiko versus nijuudaiko (or other more formal musubi).

I see that I am starting to go through a more casual phase again. Many of the last things I have purchased are much more formal. The next thing I want to get is a wool kimono. The biggest issue I have with them is that most are vintage and WAY too short for my 172cm height. I have a wool bolt that's been sitting for over a year, so I may just decide to finally do some sewing if I come up empty on the search. If you find anything for super tall people, let me know!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More eBay Auctions!

I am weeding out my collection again! There's a bunch of women's kimono, some obi and men's kimono. US only. I will combine shipping. The last auction ends Nov 12, 2012 15:32:36 PST. Items are here:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Geiko Henshin Test Photos

I plan on finally doing a geiko henshin at the upcoming Geek Media Expo (GMX) in Nashville at the end of the month. After months of practice, I think I finally have things where I want them. I chose my kikyo hikizuri (I know it'll be a month late, but the only other one I have has morning glories, so this was closer lol). I had my fiancé take a few test photos in various poses. Please tell me what you think!

I also did a "maiko henshin". There are some notable differences here between real maiko and what I've done here, and I am fully aware of that. I just wanted to use what I had to try while I had the makeup on.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Japanese Bon Festival 2012 (and surprise engagement!)

September 7 and 8 was the Japanese Bon Festival here in Memphis. Friday night was a reception for the festival and a local Japanese teacher who put in over 35 years of service. I only have one photo that someone snapped of Josh, my dance teacher, and me. We were trying to decide what type of animal the "Candyman" from Epcot had made. We think it may be a pegasus?

The second day was very busy for me. Josh and I started the day helping with tea ceremony.

Higashi and fukusa
I was the assistant. Here I am bringing the sweets to the main guest.
Patti is trying to show our friend Jason how to enter the tea room. He looks so serious!
Another couple and Josh and I are the "beginner" members. Sensei is telling us what we need to do for the demonstration.
 After tea ceremony, I hurried off to ready my models for a short kimono presentation.
The three female models. 
Dressing Becka
Becka in a fall ensemble. Cecilia in a spring one.
  What I didn't know was that I was in for a huge surprise at the end of the kimono presentation. Josh took the mic and proposed. I cried so hard! Of course I said yes!! And our friends caught the pics.

I had to play the shamisen right after the proposal. Despite being choked up, I did well for my first public performance!

At the end of the day, our dance group performed a modern-style dance and then four different bon odori dances. 
Performing "Tanko Bushi"
Everyone in yukata!
We made uchiwa. Our kanji is so bad!!
Going home. A long, exciting day is done. =)