wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing
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From tan to kimono
One of my customers, Ms Walker, bought some tan (bolts of textile specifically woven for kimonos, also called tanmomo) and had a kimono maker tailor them up for her. Her kimonos are beautiful and I am very grateful that she allowed me to post photos of them here.
The first shows a grey one, a wool kimono, very simple and elegant. I like her choice of obi, with its broad, black band, echoing the bands on the kimono.
The second shows a wonderful ichimatsu kimono. Ms Walker looks absolutely stunning. Her obi is a lovely choiceof both colour and design to go with the bold, geometric design of the kimono.
Ichimatsu is a popular design on traditional Japanese clothing; it is a checkerboard pattern, named after the kabuki actor, Ichimatsu Sanogawa, from the Edo era. When he wore hakama with thchecked design, it quickly became a fashionable pattern. It then became his trademark pattern. There is a type of doll named after Ichimatsu too, they were originally dolls that looked like him but eventually evolved into dolls of children, so we no longer think of an ichimatsu doll being one that is modelled on that actor.
Many patterns that became fashionable among the general public came from kabuki actors.
The photo below shows one of the geisha’s obi from my www.wafuku.co.uk website, with black and silver ichimatsu pattern.
This spectacular kimono, with forest and mountain design, is a wonderful example of Japanese textile art.
Talking of Japanese textile art
Check out this amazing bolt of silk, with huge fish (perhaps red snapper) on it. Woven to make a naga- juban, underwear kimono.
My daughter bought herself some of these Jeffrey Campbell skate booties, which are particularly popular in Japan.
You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.