Punk-style yukata and obi set

This amazing set was a gift from Arian, because he is a goofball. I saw it on Rakuten and fell in love with the unexpected designs. They remind me of old-school tattoo flash or motorcycle art, sort of Von Dutch or Ed Hardy style. There are hot rod flames, skulls, roses, handcuffs, snakes, and lord knows what else. Every time I look at it I find new things to ogle. The obi is pretty awesome too – on the surface it looks like a pretty mundane pink obi with white butterflies, but on closer inspection, the butterflies (like those on the matching geta are actually decorated with human skulls. I think the fact that these are much more subtle than the vivid, cartoony skulls on the yukata are what make the items work so well together.

I can’t wait until it gets warm enough for me to wear this out somewhere! I think it’s an item that kimono and non-kimono people alike will appreciate.

Punky yukata & obi set
Punky yukata & obi set

Punky yukata & obi set
Punky yukata & obi set

Kimono for benefit concert

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a benefit concert for the Red Cross, featuring Arashi Daiko and Matsu Take Ensemble. Sadly, there were no photographs allowed during the concert so I have none to share with you, but let me assure you that it was a wonderful experience. The energy was great, the music was awesome, the dancers were adorable. If you are ever in the Montreal area and have the opportunity to see either of these groups, I highly recommend it.

Of course, I chose to wear a kimono to the concert. Sadly, I was literally the only person in the entire audience who did, but that did have some benefit. After the concert I went to thank some of the members of Arashi Daiko, and one of them informed that a few of them had noticed my outfit from the stage, and found it very inspiring and touching that I’d chosen to wear kimono. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad I decided to wear one. I also got lots of lovely compliments from other people in the audience.

I decided to wear a beautiful olive-green karakusa komon from Naomi, and paired it up with my pink and white hakata to emphasize the pink in the pattern. I just happened to have an olive green obijime and mustard yellow obiage that matched perfectly, and couldn’t resist tying in the pink with my adorable new playing card geta. I also chose to use my new biyosugata (obi tying aid). Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take photos before I left, so everything looks a little bit rumpled. However, I think for about an hour total in a car, and several hours in an auditorium seat, everything held up quite well.

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.