Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Recap

I apologize for the long hiatus on this blog. 2016 was a pretty bad year for me kimono-wise just because I didn't have the ability (surgery and really rough 1st trimester of pregnancy) or the opportunity to wear them as much as I would have liked. I made a small collage of the outfits I wore or styled.

The most pervasive theme I notice is that I focused more strongly on casual outfits. Cottons and tsumugi were favorites, and bold obiage were used to make the kimono more youthful and modern. There were a few colored haneri and tabi uses early in the year, but since most of the later occasions were more formal or for tea ceremony practice, I stuck with mostly white. As usual, I pretty much stayed away from vintage and kimono hime. (They look great on many people, but just not on me!) The loudest outfit by far was the playing card yukata that I styled for a fashion show in July. It really can't be seen in the photo, but there is a small silver dice obikazari, and the obidome is a roulette wheel. The last kimono I wore this year was a blue shibori hitoe kimono for a shamisen performance. Technically, it's a pregnancy kitsuke since I was 13 weeks at the time, but I wasn't really showing then so fitting was essentially the same.

Unfortunately, I don't see myself posting too frequently in the coming year as well due to having a baby on the way. I hope to have at least one pregnancy kitsuke to show before it's all over though. And who knows? Maybe I'll have some cute baby kitsuke in the future in addition to my own!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Chanoyu Okeiko Weekend

I got a lot of practice for tea ceremony last weekend! We had a big group class on Saturday, and then I had a private lesson on Sunday.

Saturday's outfit: 
Pink ro komon with kikyou, cream Nagoya obi with hyotan, purple summer obijime, mint summer obiage, summer zori from Calen Blosso

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Casual Hitoe Tsumugi Ensemble

Today, I met with a friend for tea, so I chose casual ensemble: a grey striped tsumugi hitoe with summer accessories. It's already hot enough for full ro/sha here, but I decided to stick slightly closer to the traditional calendar by continuing to wear hitoe today. Despite the heat and humidity being so high, this kimono kept me pretty cool!

Friday, May 20, 2016

My trip to Japan and being on Japanese TV

In my previous post, I was kind of cryptic about my recent trip to Japan. This is why: I was on the Japanese TV show 世界!ニッポン行きたい人応援団, and I could not reveal any details until the episode aired. If you're not familiar with it, the show is about foreigners who have a specific interest in Japanese culture. I have been playing the shamisen for about 5 years now, and I love everything about the instrument, so I decided to submit an application later last year. I was previously passed up, so I figured that I was out of the running probably, but they contacted me about being interviewed in early April. At that time, I did not know that I would be chosen to actually go to Japan. The reaction to their invitation is definitely 100% real!

For my episode, we traveled to Shiga and mostly spent time at Marusan Hashimoto to see how the silk strings for traditional instruments (like the shamisen, koto, biwa, etc.) are made. It was an amazing process, and I plan on giving a more in-depth explanation on my shamisen blog, Tsukiko Shamisen - so please look for it in the near future!

The biggest surprise is at the end, but I do not want to spoil the episode, so please watch it (above)! I come in around 10m30s.

I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Spoils from Japan!

Sorry, I've been so quiet lately! I actually just got back from Japan a week ago, and I'm still recovering somewhat. I didn't buy too many things while I was there, but here are a few of the spoils! A polka dot haneri, blue and purple obiage, blue ombré obijime, shamisen bachi strap, and a shou (mouth organ) strap (that one was actually a gift).

I'd love to explain the details of the trip now, but that will have to wait. Thank you for your patience!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Zelda Symphony Ensemble

My husband and I went to the Orpheum last night to see the Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses show last night. I wanted to wear a more formal ensemble, so I finally had an opportunity to wear this yellow crestless irotomesode that I bought last year. It also gave me a chance to wear the new haori I bought recently. I chose a royal blue obiage for a pop of color. The obi I got recently from eBay. It's a cream-based taiko-gara fukuro obi with lavender and blue karabana. The sanbuhimo is light pink with silver threads. The obidome is handmade with items from the craftstore. The camera unfortunately did not pick up the true vividness of the colors.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Belated Post - Birthday Kitsuke

I did this coordination about a month ago, but forgot to post it here. I decided to do a coordination for my birthday, and I chose to use several new items. The beige kimono (one of my "bucket list" kimono!) is a cotton-linen blend and is so comfortable! The obi has big peonies that remind me of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting. I chose turquoise accessories for this particular coordination, but I think it would be a match for other colors as well. The obi is tied in tsunodashi musubi, and since the obi has no core, it's a little more curved than I would like, but oh well. 

wink emoticon

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Several new purchases and mannequin kitsuke with new obi

I decided to do some kitsuke on my sewing mannequin the other day so I could practice with the new obi that my husband bought for me. The first one is a reversible cotton hanhaba. I love the simplicity of the dots and stripes in black and white! 

And here is the kitsuke I did with it. This musubi was kind of made up as I went along, but based on many I have seen in the past.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Kimono de Jack Memphis: An Attempt at Revival

After some discussion with fellow kimono enthusiasts around the world, I want to try again to get Kimono de Jack going regularly in the Memphis area. It's a great opportunity to wear kimono with fellow enthusiasts. Sometimes we go to Japanese-themed events; other times we have done things like going to the zoo. Suggestions for events are always welcome as well. If you like kimono, please consider joining! 


Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day 2016

My husband and I never do much for Valentine's Day (hectic and too commercial), but I did want to wear kimono today. Today's outfit is a cotton kimono with grey ichimatsu pattern, pink chirimen obi with ume design, red chirimen haneri, red chirimen obiage with sparkly hearts, purple and white lace sanbuhimo, purple rose obidome, and purple tabi. The obiage is done in a style more like what one would wear with furisode, but I really wanted to show off the hearts!

No pictures of my face or hair because it all looked terrible, haha!

Monday, February 1, 2016

First Tea Ceremony Presentation of 2016

Even though our tea ceremony group is much more casual than others in the USA, we still try to have hatsugama every year. Due to our sensei's schedule, we were unable to hold the event this year unfortunately. (For those who don't know, our sensei moved to the east coast a few years ago and has been flying back about once per month to teach us.) However, we were asked to do a presentation for the Oishii Japan food event. Sensei had originally planned to fly in and lead the presentation, but with the blizzard last week, his flight was cancelled. I was asked to lead in his place.

I have done several of these kinds of presentations in the past, so I wasn't too nervous from a stage-fright standpoint. But since I had surgery back in December, I have not been able to practice very much. I felt rusty, and that's what actually made me nervous. Despite my fears, the presentation went very well. My husband provided narration (since this group was unfamiliar with tea ceremony) and one of our other members was my main guest. Two other members assisted some in the background.

And now on to the pictures! I was really excited to wear this iromuji. I bought it last year, but I was waiting for the perfect time to wear it. This event fit the bill in my opinion. The colors in my own crappy iPhone pictures are very washed out, but the two of the actual presentation taken by Frank Chin are very true-to-life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

First Post-Surgery Kitsuke!

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to wear kimono for the first time since my surgery back in December. Because I was working in the dealer's room at our local anime convention, I wanted to wear something comfortable. I chose the red denim kimono with the cream kitty hanhaba obi. I tied the obi in a simple kai no kuchi, secured with a black obijime with little red threads. The haneri is a plain black chirimen, and the obi kazari is my little purple kokeshi charm. The purple tabi are ones that I recently dyed, and I'm happy to report that there were no color bleeding or fading issues! The zori have a black vinyl bottom with blue and brown plaid hanao. It's only barely visible at the back of the sleeves, but you might spy my black nagajuban - one of my favorites for its unique color.

While I feel like I did fairly well with my kitsuke despite the long hiatus and new kimono, the issue I did have to deal with (fairly unsuccessfully) was my surgical site. You probably can't see it in the pictures (I can only just see it myself), but it's on the front right side of my neck (about 3 inches long). The skin there is still very sensitive and fragile, so placing the collars was a major challenge. In the end, I had to show less haneri in order to get it in a fairly comfortable spot. I still had issues with it rubbing, but it was fine most of the day. I have a tea ceremony presentation to assist with this coming weekend, so I'll have to try again and hope it all looks ok!