Proof of Life

Rumours of my demise have been slightly exaggerated. Further information below the cut if you’re curious.

Ideally, for my return to regular kimono blogging I would have loved to showcase some gorgeous new piece, some rare curiosity… but I honestly have not purchased anything since the men’s set I wrote about back in May. Instead, I resorted to my old standby of blindly pulling something out of storage and forcing myself to work with it. It’s a great exercise if you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated! I grabbed this vintage-inspired modern poly piece that I love and used to wear quite frequently, but somehow never think of when it comes time for a mannequin coord.

I thought it would look lovely and even more vintage-inspired with this dusty peacock obi, which I unfortunately forgot was hikinuki-style so it’s tied upside down. Oh well. Not too shabby for being so out of practice! A few similarly desaturated accessories in dusky pinks and beigey browns completed the look and this outfit feels like a great way to transition from summer into autumn.

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It’s a Man’s World

Today, I finally got my grubby little paws on something I’ve wanted for a very long time. A full men’s formal kuromontsuki set! It seemed like every time I found one it was way beyond my budget. I’m glad I waited because this set showed up for an unbelievably low price and here in Canada to boot so I jumped on it. Originally it was just the kimono, haori, and hakama but the seller was kind enough to throw in an absolutely awesome juban too. All I had to do was find a suitable kaku-obi and I now have a full formal men’s set. I’d love to dress a bride and groom up for photos some day when the world is back to normal!

I cheated and used the same mannequin as usual, I just padded “her” with towels until her tummy protruded a bit more than her chest, and voila! Men’s kitsuke feels odd to me; it’s both very similar and very different from what I’m used to, and I’ll definitely need more practice but I think I did quite well for a first attempt. I do need to learn how to tie men’s haori-himo properly though. I watched a few tutorials and just could not get the hang of it! I’ll try again tomorrow.

Items used in this coordination

DIY – Washi Tape Earrings

A while back the lovely folks at The Washi Tape Shop sent me a gorgeous selection of washi tapes. I used some to make these fun kokeshi-style dolls, but I’ve been trying to think of other ways to feature the designs. I was inspired to make these fun. stylish, and easy washi tape earrings! Including dry time for the optional paint and varnish, these come together in less than an hour.

You will need:

  1. Washi tape
  2. Earring hardware
  3. Work-safe mat
  4. Sharp scissors or a craft knife
  5. Fine-grit (180 to 220 grit) sandpaper or file
  6. Pliers
  7. (Optional) Paint brushes
  8. (Optional) Metallic paint
  9. (Optional) Varnish or Mod-Podge

You don’t need to paint the blanks, but personally I think it makes the end product look a lot more finished and professional. Metallic paints also help tie in the metallic accents on the washi tape.

How-To:

  1. Gently sand the edges of your wood pieces. They may be cheaply machine cut and not properly finished, and you don’t want rough wood near your ears or neck.
  2. If painting your wooden blanks, do this next. Do two thin coats on either side and make certain to paint the thin edges, as these will be the most visible.
  3. Once paint is fully dry, carefully smooth a piece of tape onto one flat side of the wooden blank. If your washi tape has a specific direction or accent you want to feature, take the time to align it properly. It will make the finished piece look much more professional.
  4. Using your scissors or knife, trim the excess tape off, following the shape of the wood piece.
  5. Flip the blank over and do the same taping-and-cutting on the other side.
  6. With the tip of your knife or even the hook of one of the earrings, pierce through the tape on both sides of the tiny hole at the top of the piece. If you’re having trouble finding it, hold your piece up to a bright light; the hole will shine through.
  7. Varnish isn’t necessary but it will help seal the tape from peeling off and give a nice shine to the earrings. If you choose to varnish, do it now.
  8. Once the piece is fully dry, open one jump ring with the pliers and attach a hook to each earring.
  9. Voila! Your stylish new pieces are done.

Now you’ve got beautiful, one-of-a-kind earrings that you can pair with funky kimono outfits or to add flair to a western outfit. You can also turn these into unique necklaces by using attaching a decorative bail or even just a jump ring and threading it on to a chain. These would make beautiful gifts, too.

Have fun and experiment with paint colours and tape placement or even add decorative items, rhinestones, or other personal touches!

 I received this item from the retailer or manufacturer for honest review purposes.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. 

Terrific Texture

As much as it pained me to remove last week’s coordinate, it was time to change the mannequin. I thought for today I would focus on textures, an often-overlooked facet of kimono style and construction. This outfit may have no real variation in colour, and yet it’s anything but boring!

I paired my richly-textured mint iromuji with a tone-on-tone dusty pink hakata obi. Not only do these two pieces play well together texture-wise, the muted colour palettes complement each other perfectly. I emphasised the texture aspect even more with this haneri with a thick woven kiku design, a white shibori obiage (which is a bit too formal for this coord but it worked so well thematically) and a a white beaded obijime to introduce one last texture without adding more colour. I even arranged the obiage so the ruffled hem was visible, just to add one more layer of interest. Typically that edge is tucked away out of sight, but I thought it was a nice little touch.

I really like how this all came together. It’s very simple but also feels very luxurious, due to the nature of all the fabrics together. It’s even more effective in person, but you’ll just have to take my word on that!

Items used in this coordination

Anime with kimono eye-candy, take 2

It’s been quite a long time since I did a post featuring anime with kimono front and centre. Since then, a bunch of new series have come out. I thought I’d share some of the ones I’ve particularly enjoyed with you all. If you have any suggestions I haven’t mentioned, I’d love to hear them!


Kakuriyo no yadomeshi (Bed and Breakfast for Spirits)

Sadly, this adorable romantic slice-of-life anime seems to have flown under the radar. It’s the story of Aoi, a young woman who ends up running a small restaurant in the Hidden Realm of spirits. She wears kimono nearly all the time, as do the bulk of the spirits she interacts with. Of course there’s a romance with master of the inn, the ogre king. It turns out her grandfather used to visit regularly and incurred significant gambling debts, and promised Aoi in marriage. The series features a wonderful combination of charming characters, a growing romance, and plenty of delicious food.

Unfortunately, only one season aired back in 2018 and so far there’s no hint of a second series at the moment. However, you can still catch that one season on Funimation right here.

Kakuriyo no yadomeshi on Wikipedia
Kakuriyo no yadomeshi on IMDB


Maiko-san chi no makanai san (Kiyo in Kyoto: from the Maiko House)

From the spirit world to the modern world, we now go to Maiko-san chi no makanai san. This is the story of Kiyo and her best friend Sumire. They move from Aomori to Kyoto to become maiko (apprentice geisha). While Sumire seems made for the job, Kiyo doesn’t have what it takes. Rather than leave embittered or jealous, Kiyo becomes the cook for the maiko house as well as essentially their head cheerleader. She’s supportive and encouraging and loves seeing Sumire and all the other girls in the house succeed.

This is a very slow, calm little series. Each episode is split into three chapters, interspersed with “Dish of the Day” featurettes. They get a little repetitive, but give recipes and trivia as well as giving us glimpses of the other girls in the house, so in the end I don’t mind them. If you’re looking for something lovely, soothing, and heartwarming to watch, you can check out Maiko-san chi no makanai san on NHK’s official website.

Maiko-san chi no makanai san on Wikipedia
Maiko-san chi no makanai san on IMDB


Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

I feel like including this one is a no-brainer. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is an incredibly popular franchise now, spanning from a manga to anime to movies to a stage show. It’s even on Netflix in English now, that’s how widespread its popularity is. It’s the story of Tanjiro and his sister Nezuko, who lose their family after a vicious demon attack. Tanjiro becomes part of the Demon Slayer corps, determined to avenge his family.

Taking place in an alternate-reality Taisho-era Japan, this series has plenty of action, drama, and heart. There are many traditional kimono and kimono-inspired outfits on almost all the main characters, making this a great watch for anyone interested in that. You can find Demon Slayer currently on Netflix!

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba on Wikipedia
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba on IMDB


Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto

The next alternate history/fantasy series takes place at the very end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. We follow the story of supernatural-hunting mercenary Yojiro, who joins up with a theatre troupe bent on revenge. The premise sounds quite silly when written out like that, but I’m four episodes in and totally hooked.

The kimono factor in this one is way up there, due to the troupe’s costumes and the historical placement of the entire series. Unfortunately, this series is aired on a Japanese streaming platform 2007 and isn’t currently licensed anywhere so it might be hard to find. Typically I don’t condone piracy, but it seems to be the only way to watch this currently.

Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto on Wikipedia
Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto on IMDB


Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood

Another new, unfinished series, Joran takes place in an alternate history where the Tokugawa Shogunate never lost power. They’ve also found a way to extract a form of electricity from people with a mysterious power, so the aesthetic is a fascinating combination of turn-of-the-century Japan and a modern, almost cyberpunk style.

The story follows Sawa, a Changeling woman who can take the form of a white crow. Her entire clan was slaughtered by Janome, a man determined to create artificial changelings. Sawa is a member of the Nue, a government-sanctioned execution squad.

I can’t elaborate much more than this, because this series is still currently ongoing and I don’t want to spoil anything! But so far this show has a lot of promise, and I’m eagerly anticipating the rest of the episodes. You can follow Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood now on Crunchyroll. This series has some quite graphic violence, as well as explicit nudity and sex so definitely adults only!

Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood on Wikipedia
Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood on IMDB


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