Origami & Miniature Wafuku

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

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I found some nice origami online.
It is by Sipho Mabona, from Switzerland. He has plans to fold a life sized elephant but, in the meantime, there is some of his work from here. I especially like the spectrum of carp.




And here is a quite different style of paper folding.
These are by Kota Hiratsuka. I’m not so fond of these works but it is interesting to see a different style of paper folding.


Next we have folded metal, rather than paper.
This work is by Joel Cooper. You can see more  here.



I recently watched the television series M*A*S*H again, having previously seen it in the 70s.
It took me way back. I am still fond of the character Radar O’Reilly and, when that character left the series, it brought a tear to my eye.  The characters in that show sometimes went on leave to Japan, so, now and then, kimonos or happi were seen on them. I grabbed some pictures…

I do love purple kimonos.




A burgundy beauty.


Even Corporal Klinger couldn’t resist.




Hotlips in a happi.


The Major, in striped silk.



I thought I would show you one of my many, many obis.
This one, a Nagoya obi, is made of a beautiful, rich red, rinzu silk. It has a lovely sheen and a woven design of grapes and vines.


You can see the fabric in detail here.



Below is one of my silk kimonos.
This is a komon kimono, which means it has an all-over, repeat pattern and is intended for everyday wear. From afar, it looks quite unassuming but, close up, it has a delightful pattern of interiors and nobles.




Japanese textiles.
I have quite a lot of Japanese textiles. The first one below is a bolt (tan) of very fine wool textile, for making a woman’s kimono. It has a lovely, simple but striking design of pines, a very popular motif in Japan.


This next one is a bolt of silk, for making a naga-juban (underwear kimono). The painterly print of blue pandas is very sweet.



Miniature hifu.
This is a miniature hifu that I have. I don’t know if it is a tailor’s sample or made for a doll. It is only 26cm from top to bottom. It is beautifully made, complete with lining. This miniature garment is very old, though I don’t know an exact date. Its two press studs are rather tarnished and some of the thread has perished on each press stud, though the hifu  itself and its stitching shows no signs of perishing.


A hifu is a garment of the type a young girl would wear over her deep sleeved kimono. You can tell it would be worn by  a young girl because they wear kimonos with extra deep sleeves and they have tucks stitched into the shoulders of their garments. Many modern hifu are sleeveless. You see them on 3 year old girls the Shichi-Go-San celebration each year, a celebration of girls aged 3 and 7 and boys aged 3 and 5.


I wish I could read the text on that label but I cannot read Japanese, however, a Japanese lady translated it for me, saying, “Girl use, Yotsum (how to make), Hifu (over coat). It also has the name of the Japanease dressmaker, Masako Ito,  and a mark of inspection proof to show it is a garment that has passed inspection”. The lady who translated it for me says she believes it is a hifu for a high quality ichimatsu doll, which seems very likely.


I also have some some tiny hakama. I have two red hakama, in woman’s style…


and a few in men’s style too.



I also have some miniature, cute, ornate, girl’s pokkuri geta.



You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.




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  1. Ceri, what a beautiful miniature michiyuki . I love the koi and birds origami, I shall take a look at the web site later.
    I haven’t sen Mash in years I always enjoyed it though.
    I can see your blog post down the centre of the page with a lavender grey section to right and left then when I clicked on leave a comment it changed to a dark section on the left and right, how weird is that…!!!

    1. How odd, Jackie, that you see the layout differently. I don’t know what is going on at all. I have checked all the editable settings I can find but none accounts for the annoying layout. I may have to try changing to another of the styles on offer, to see if it corrects it.
      UPDATE… I have selected another page style. It at least centres the page but I wish it spread it across more. It is still rather narrow and I find the font rather small and can’t find a way to alter either of those but at least a bit more balanced now.

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