In Japan, winter is approaching and the changing leaves are now at its best.
Recently, I held a gathering for my clients at a Japanese restaurant “TENMARI” located in UTSUNOMIYA city of my prefecture (TOCHIGI prefecture) where we all got together wearing KIHACHIJŌ TSUMUGI KIMONO.
The place was relatively small but the room decoration was perfect.
Chairs and table were setup although it was a Japanese room, which took us back in time to the MEIJI period.
Why I said MEIJI?
Because in MEIJI period, lots of western culture began to be introduced to Japan and our lifestyle where we sat directly on the TATAMI mattress changed gradually.
(Chairs and tables were on a carpet installed on the TATAMI mattresses.)
Well, talking about the food we enjoyed this time were…
An hors d’œuvre, SASHIMI (sliced row fish), a bowl of rice with dried small fish, pickles, boiled vegetables, 4 kinds of side dishes arranged on a rectangular plate, UDON noodles.
And finally as a dessert, we savored ANMITSU ( Japanese confectionery consists of bean jam and pieces of fruit served in syrup)! )
Sorry, forgot to take picture…
Now, let’s see the KIMONO of KIHACHIJŌ that my clients wore, which are all produced by YAMASHITA-KŌBŌ introduced in the past article.
KIMONO: Striped designs with yellow and gradation of greenish-gray color woven by AYA-ORI weaving method which is rare and expensive compared to normal HIRA-ORI (plain-weaving method).
AYA-ORI is compact, soft and elastic so that it is crease-resistant compared to HIRA-ORI.
You can see its structure on the left: a weft passes through several warps. When it passes 2 warps, it’s called “MITSU (tree)-AYA” and 3 warps, “YOTSU(four)-AYA”.
OBI: Her OBI is woven by “USHIKUBI-ORI method” where “TAMA-MAYU (a cocoon made by two silkworms)” is used as yarns.
The gray check design is just matching with the greenish-gray of her KIMONO.
The jade ring is also nice!
KIMONO: It looks entirely pinkish check design but actually it is using plenty of color yarns.
OBI: KIRI-BAME of SHŌZAN-NAMA-TSUMUGI (TSUMUGI KIMONO produced in KYOTO, see past article here).
KIRI-BEME means a kind of patchwork.
The color coordination is perfect with her KIMONO!
KIMONO: Very fine check pattern KIHACHIJŌ. Looking close, green yarns are used for warps.
OBI: SOU-UKE of HAKATA-ORI. This is also once introduced in the past article. Very rare and precious OBI weaving method.
Wearing HAKATA-OBI for the first time, she said “although it was a bit too stiff tying it in the beginning, when it is tightly worn, it squeaks and never gets loosen, which makes me comfortable.”
The mocha color of the OBI fits nicely to her KIMONO of KIHACHIJŌ.
And finally my KIMONO.
KIMONO: Cream color check pattern KIHACHIJŌ produced by YAOKO YAMASHITA who is the former owner of YAMASHITA-KŌBŌ.
I bought this almost 20 years ago but my clients all says it doesn’t look such an old product.
OBI: Purple-gray based with grape motifs. This OBI is a gift from my husband a while ago.
This is not formal OBI but can be coordinated with HŌMON-GI (KIMONO for informal parties), very useful.
In the modern life style, it is difficult to have a chance to wear KIMONO, so I will like to continue holding a gathering like this!