Call a Spade a Spade

As I mentioned in the geta entry, I am a sucker for card motifs. When Mariko-san from Chidoriya World let me know that these obidome had come in, I knew I had to have one! At the time they were not able to accept PayPal, but Mariko-san was really helpful and understanding, so we managed to work things out with poor Naomi working as the middleman. She also included a lovely complimentary packet of Chidoriya World’s own oil-absorbing blotting papers, which was very sweet. I suffer from an unfortunately oily T-zone and so far they are working very well. I am trying not to use them too often though.

The obidome itself is lovely, it’s a nice substantial size and made of a really shiny black material. It’s got a really fun funky feel.

Spade Obidome

Spade Obidome

I’m looking forward to wearing it soon, I just need to find an appropriately spunky outfit to showcase it properly.

Art Gallery – Hiroshige’s Stations of the Tokaido

I often mention my love for the series of prints known as the 53 Stations of the Tokaido, and my passion for collecting kimono items with the stations as a motif. When I saw this adorable box of the Hoeido edition of prints come up for auction, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy them. They’re a lovely portable size, just about the size of playing cards, and not only are they very well-printed and well-presented, they make a wonderful quick reference for my collection. The full set is there, all 53 Stations as well as the start and end points. Unfortunately, due to the way they are printed, the scans end up slightly pointillized. In person, however, they are absolutely beautiful. The box is also very charming.

Feel free to click on the thumbnails to view individual pieces or open one and use the arrow keys to navigate through the gallery.

New geta haul

I’ve been wanting more “dressy” geta, ones I could wear with casual kimono or in inclement weather. These showed up on Yahoo Japan and Naomi, mutual enabler that she is, linked me. She bought a bunch as well, which made me feel better about splurging a bit.

Pink playing-card geta
Pink playing card geta
Pink playing card geta
Seriously, how cute are these? I just couldn’t pass them up. I love stuff with playing card motifs, and while I thought the pink might be a little twee, it’s actually a really perfect dusty pink that goes with far more things than I anticipated. They’re also surprisingly large, which is great for my gigantic feet.

Black skull butterfly geta
Black skull butterfly geta
Black skull butterfly geta
These actually came bundled with an epic yukata and obi that I will be posting about in the coming days, but I figured they were better suited to this post. The straps on them are a little shiny and cheap-looking, but they are insanely comfortable so I don’t think I’m going to bother changing them. What I really love about these is at first glance the design on the heels is a simple butterfly. Cute, but nothing particularly exceptional, right? Look again, particularly on the bottom hollows of the butterfly wings. Yes, those are hidden skulls. How freakin’ cool is that?!

Heeled geta with green shibori hanao
Stylish geta
These feel really nice and dressy to me, I love the shape of them. I also really like the hanao, but they’re quite overpowering so I actually plan to remove them and put them on the next pair of geta (see below), and replace them with some subtle red and grey hanao to make them a bit more versatile.

Curvy geta with flower design
Curvy geta with flowers
I absolutely love the unique shape of these, I find them very sensual. The lacquered flowers are also really charming. The hanao, however, are cheap and brittle, but that’s okay because I eventually plan on removing them and adding the green shibori ones from the pair above! I think they will look amazing and coordinate well with the flowers – better even than the pair currently on there.

Vintage pink ume komon outfit

With all the new things I’ve been buying lately, a lot of older pieces I never had the opportunity to wear have been sitting around neglected. Today I decided to remedy that, and discovered (much to my dismay) that I’ve gained so much weight lately due to sloth and massive water retention that a lot of these things just don’t fit me very well anymore. In this case, my loss is Naomi‘s gain, I know she loves this piece and it will definitely fit her better, so into the giveaway pile it goes.

That being said, I’m glad I managed to wear it for a few photos at least, because it’s such an incredibly fun and gorgeous piece. There’s a tiny bit of green accent on the plum branches, so I decided to emphasize that with a green hakata obi, green haneri, and some new geta with sexy green hanao.

I also dressed a little unconventionally today – it was my first time using an eri-sugata (easy collar) and a susuyoke (half skirt) rather than a full juban. It worked really well because the kimono was so snug, the bulk of the juban was making it impossible to fit. I also love how easy it is to get the collar of the eri-sugata nice and low! It’s sort of sad that I know I’ll never be able to wear this kimono out, but I’m glad I finally got off my butt and put it on, and I’m glad it’s going to someone who will be able to wear it.

Shah Mosque Houmongi

I don’t know if anyone remembers that I made a resolution only to buy really special pieces. Unfortunately, my complete and utter lack of dedication has pretty much thrown that to the wayside, but I am trying to keep an eye out for particularly spectacular items. I blame BikaBika for this, she posted the link to the auction on the Immortal Geisha forums and I knew then and there that I needed to have this item. Thankfully Naomi was there to help me get it through YJA. It finally arrived in the box of stuff I mentioned last Friday, and I was so excited to finally get it so I could see it in person and write about it.

I’ve always been fascinated by architectural motifs on kimono, but I’d never seen one with a mosque on it. In particular, the blue dome and heavy Moorish ornamentation would suggest that this is the Shah Mosque in Iran. The yuzen dye work is absolutely stunning, the whole piece looks like a soft painting but the details up close are breathtaking. The silk is incredibly lush as well, it’s got an interesting nubby texture, almost like shibori but it’s woven into wave-like stripes and not part of the actual visual pattern.

Shah Mosque Kimono

Shah Mosque Kimono

I have several coordinations in mind for this particular kimono, including one using the gorgeous Moorish Arches obi I received as a mystery gift, but also a more subdued modern look. Hopefully I will find the time for one or both of them in the near future.