Parasols are one of those things that look adorable with kimono and yukata, and are also very practical with western clothing, especially if you are as unlucky as I am to be as pale as bread soaked in milk, and ridiculously prone to heat stroke. In fact, I’ve been doing a lot of catalogue-style entries lately because it is just too hot for me to get dressed in kimono! They’re great for taking a stroll to the park or attending outdoor festivals. Some of them can even help keep you dry in a light sprinkle of rain (though I would not suggest subjecting them to anything more severe than a drizzle).
Red plastic parasol hanaguruma (flower carts)
This is definitely my favourite parasol, and I found it at a children’s book store, of all the odd places! It’s red plasticized fabric, so it’s quite durable and can put up with a fair bit of abuse, and I really like the pattern. I hate goshoguruma, the typical Heian-style carts that carried people, but I’m pretty fond of hanaguruma, the flower-carrying carts. It looks like fabric you’d find on a furisode or something. I also really love how bright and fun it is. It’s actually a child’s parasol so it’s a little smaller in diameter than the next two, but it’s more than sufficient to shade my head and shoulders.
Paper parasol with painted dragons
I picked this up at a matsuri years back, and while it was most likely made in China for tourist export, I’m still quite fond of it. Dragons, when cheaply mass-produced, can tend to look a bit dopey, but this little guy is surprisingly intelligent-looking.
Paper parasol with painted butterflies
This came from the same vendor as the previous one, and again, it’s nothing fancy but the pattern is cute and sweet, and it works well when I’m in the mood for something girly but subdued.