Montreal Matsuri Japon 2010

I went to the annual Matsuri Japon last year and really enjoyed it, so when I found out it was happening again this year I was eager to head out. I wore my black ume yukata and blue and white hanhaba hakata obi to work all day, and after my work day was over my mother joined me and we drove down together. Since there are so many photos here, I’ve put smaller versions than usual in the post, please click on them to see bigger versions 🙂

Unfortunately, the festival had changed locations this time around, and it was in a much more cramped location in the middle of the busiest and most tourist-filled area of the Old Port of Montreal. The traffic flow was not ideal and the stage where the taiko drummers were was virtually impossible to get to. I was a bit let down. However, there were plenty of lovely yukata to see and photograph, and a few great bargains to be had.

At first I didn’t realize that the festival had moved, so I tracked down a guide and asked them where to go. This lovely gentleman then came up to me and asked me where to go, he was as confused as I was! After posing for a photo at my mother’s insistence, we headed off to the new area together.

At the gate, I saw the always-radiant Akane, who I generally run into at these sorts of events. She’s such a sweetheart.

And in the long-standing tradition of goofy photos of me with food in my mouth (if you have me on Facebook you’ve probably seen some others) I found some takoyaki! It was yummy.

This lovely young woman had the most luscious raspberry-red yukata with great shibori all over it, and a really pretty obi with some urushi-like flowers on them, she looked great!

Another beautiful young woman who was doing custom calligraphy.

She made me a very nice interpretation of Tsuki and Hana (moon and flower), on some beautiful Japanese paper.

Three little dolls looked absolutely adorable in their yukata and heko obi! Love the hats, too.

A beautiful family! The young boy on his daddy’s shoulders had the cutest “Chip & Dale” jimbei!

There was not much in the way of kimono to purchase, thankfully. However, I did manage to find some very cute obijime for a steal, $5 each!

And I couldn’t pass up this adorable origami crab jewelry! I will probably turn the pendant into some sort of obi-kazari, as I always wear one of my pearl necklaces, but I couldn’t pass it up!

There are plenty more pictures in my Flickr Account, if you’d like to see! I’d also like to give a huge thank-you to my mom for taking a lot of these photos!

Aikoku Fujinkai Obidome featured on ButtonCountry

Recently a lovely gentleman by the name of Paul Rice contacted me, asking if he could feature my Aikoku Fujinkai obidome on ButtonCountry’s online workshop and reference entry on obi-dome.

The page has plenty of beautiful examples of obi-dome, and I am flattered that part of my collection was deemed interesting enough not only to be included and used as an example, but also to be featured on its own separate page.

Book Review – Kyoto Shoin, Yuzen edition

Yuzen Dyeing
by Nobuhiko Maruyama
Language: Japanese and English
ISBN-10: 4763670409
Amazon.com listing

This was a risky impulse purchase off eBay. The listing did not give the title, did not give dimensions, and only had a few murky photos of the interior. However, it was a very good price so I figured I’d throw caution to the wind and go for it. I’m very glad I did, because when it arrived in the mail I was shocked to find one of the out-of-print and generally very pricey Kyoto Shoin ‘s Art Library of Japanese Textiles books, specifically the one about yuzen which is one of my favourite techniques.

The book is one of a series, and my only regret about buying it is that now I very much want more of the books out of the series. I’d heard that they were great resources, but never having seen one for myself  I didn’t really know what I was missing.

The book is filled with gorgeous full-colour plates of vintage kimono, often pairing up a full garment shot with a detail. The text is sparse, but concise. It doesn’t go into huge amounts of depth, but does not leave me desperate for more information. The majority of the book is devoted to photos, but there is also a basic explanation of the techniques involved in yuzen dyeing in the back. It is by no means a full tutorial, but it helps the reader to understand the process and effort involved in making these beautiful garments.

I would recommend this book for:


-People interested in traditional dyeing techniques.
-People looking for pictures of beautiful vintage kimono.

I would not recommend this book for:


-People looking for in-depth tutorials or lessons on yuzen dyeing.

 

This post contains affiliate link(s). If you choose to purchase, I receive a small rebate or commission which goes to the continued maintenance of this site.

Black Hanamaru Furisode

Black Hanamaru Kofurisode

This is a piece I’ve already shown you, I wore it the first day it arrived, but it also needs a decent catalogue entry, so please bear with me.

Yamatoku was having a sale over the summer of graduation kofurisode overstock. Kofurisode are shorter-sleeved furisode, typically worn with hakama. Girls often wear them during high school and college graduation, so about a month after graduation season, kimono retailers will typically have a large number of modern, synthetic, mass-produced kimono available for good prices.

I don’t usually like modern kimono, and furisode even less, so I honestly wasn’t expecting to pick one of these up. However, when I found this one I had to cave in. It’s komon-style (all over pattern), so it doesn’t scream “furisode” to me. If anything, between the sleeve length and the bright all-over pattern, it looks more like a vintage everyday kimono than a modern graduation outfit. Because it’s modern, it’s nice and large and actually fits me nicely. It was also a steal at $19.95. How could I say no?

The patterns are hanamaru, which are decorative balls of flowers. They’re primarily fall and winter flowers; ume and kiku. There’s also some sort of berries or tiny flowers, I have no idea what these represent. If you know, please comment and help me out! There’s also some subtle trellis designs which add a nice geometric element and keep it from feeling too twee or girly.

The hakkake is a deep yellow, and there is a matching built-in kasane-eri. I hate those damned things, but it does add a nice vibrant touch of colour up by my face, and helps to break up the black, so I’ll probably leave it in there.

From the Archives – retro-style wool komon coordination

Okay, this is kind of a cheat. This is an outfit I wore quite some time ago, but I quite liked how it turned out. It’s murderously hot out, so I thought maybe an outfit for the fall would remind me of the lovely crisp weather in early spring, and cool everyone down.

It’s all over the place formality-wise, and not really correct with the gloves and boots, but I was going for an overall look, feel and style here, not perfect Sodo kimono regulations. I was aiming for a sort of subdued 20s style, and I think I kind of pulled it off. I’d love to wear some sort of little cloche hat with this, but I look like a total doofus in any sort of hat so let us never speak of that again.

I paired up my great black, white, and red wool komon with my red tsuke-obi and red synthetic haori. A green kasane-eri, green shibori obiage, and round green obijime hold everything together and add a bit of pop. See what I mean about mixing formality? For those of you who aren’t familiar with the rules, I’ve put cocktail-level formal accessories with a “running grubby errands” kimono. And then, if that wasn’t enough, I’m wearing high-heeled black leather boots and black opera gloves! The scandal!