On the surface it looks like a plain black three-crested formal haori, but it’s scattered with black urushi birds that appear to be crows or ravens. I suspect it’s also relatively old, it’s quite long (even on my tall frame), and the crests are larger than modern ones, but the sleeves are short, so either it’s from a pre-war transitional period, or the sleeves were cut short at some point. Either way, it’s a beautiful and unique piece that I look forward to wearing, possibly with my crow obi (although now, comparing the birds, I think it’s more likely that the birds on the obi are indeed stylized cormorants, but I will continue to refer to it as crowbi because I am stubborn that way).
I know I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I apologize for the gap between updates lately. I’m stuck in a perfect storm of being too sick to dress myself, too poor to buy new items, and too busy to catalogue old things, and it sucks. However, Kansai Gal sent me a box of all sorts of awesome stuff and these geta were in it, so here’s a little something to tide you over. And yes, I still have that giant box of obi to work my way through.
There are no words to express how adorable I find these things. The straps are thick white chirimen, and they’re embroidered with adorable pink bunnies and fireworks. I can’t wait to be able to wear them with this awesome bunny komon.
I apologize for the lack of entries lately! I’ve been preoccupied with work, an incredibly severe migraine that ended up with me in the hospital, and an actor named Benedict Cumberbatch. What can I say, he’s got an intriguing face and a charming personality? XD
Anyway, I’ve finally found time to start sorting and cataloguing all the obi in the incredible bundle I posted recently. I think the easiest way to handle it will be to separate the obi into types and do one entry per type. With my love of hakata, there was no question as to which ones would be posted first!
This one is interesting – in most lights it’s so dark that it’s nearly black, but with light on it the obvious navy blue makes itself apparent. It’s also a very thick, durable-feeling cotton blend of some sort, rather than the traditional squeaky silk hakata is often made of.
Vivid pink hakata fukuro with geometric designs
I still can’t believe the other girls were willing to let me have this one, it’s incredibly stunning and unique – I’ve never seen anything like that interesting interlocked pattern on hakata textiles before. This one was constructed like a chuuya obi, backed in black silk. However, the silk is rotting away with age so I’m going to disassemble it and just keep it as a single layer, since most hakata obi are constructed in that manner.
Butter yellow, red, and black hakata fukuro with asanoha
This is another one that I’m shocked I managed to walk away with. It’s incredibly unique, and I love how it’s off-balance and has the asanoha motif worked in. It does have a fair bit of patina that is very evident with flash photography, but it’s quite subtle in person so I suspect it won’t detract from the piece when it’s worn. I may just have to tie it creatively to hide some particularly dark bits.
White on white traditional hakata fukuro
This is a much more standard-style hakata obi, but I’ve wanted a white-on-white one for quite some time now, since they’re so neutral and versatile. I’m quite pleased with this one.
Taupey olive grey hanhaba hakata
I tried to get the colour of this fairly accurate, but it was very hard to capture. It’s very interesting – from a distance it looks quite drab but up close it shifts from an olive khaki colour to a steely blue-grey to a warm taupe, and the weave almost reminds me of shark skin. It’s got an interesting subtle elegance to it, and I’m looking forward to finding the right kimono to pair it with.
Just a quick post today, because I’m too excited not to share this! A few months back, Naomi was kind enough to orchestrate and organize a huge obi bundle split amongst a few members of the IG forums. After much negotiation and wheedling, we each ended up with an amazing selection, and I got my box today! Here’s a little preview of all the glorious goodies I’ll be cataloguing over the next little while.
When I saw this, I knew I needed to have it. It reminds me so much of a stereotypical lumberjack shirt and it called out to my inner Canadian. I’ve already got an outfit in mind for it, including an obi with a maple leaf, a fur hat, and my winter boots. I’ve just got to wait for snow! The fact that it’s incredibly long (167cm) was an extra bonus.
It’s a wonderful thick taffeta silk, much like my other plaid kimono. What I really love about this set though, is that the jacket is a dochugi, not a haori. Dochugi are more casual, and have a substantial decorative cord at the front where they cross over completely, rather than a haori which should hang open, held together with a small set of ties. I’m looking forward to wearing this dochugi with jeans and a black top as well.
As far as I can tell, this set is also brand spanking new. It’s still got the original basting threads and the white lining is completely pristine, and still stiff.