haori

Forget-Me-Nots & Beautiful Kimonos

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Things outside are finally coming to life after the bleakness of winter. The trees are greening up and more and more flowers appearing. Where I live there is a big swathe of forget-me-nots just come into bloom. They cover a large area and look amazing. They also smell exquisite. If the weather is warmish and there is very little breeze, a beautiful, sweet scent rises up from them, sometimes wafting all the way over to the house. Last year was the first time they grew in such abundance there and the first time I realised that forget-me-nots had a fragrance. Unfortunately, they don’t look nearly as spectacular in photographs as they do in reality, photos just don’t do them  justice. There is a lawn in the garden that, in early Spring, is absolutely covered in crocus and looks amazing but it always looks pathetic in photos. The crocus are then replaced by masses and masses of daffodils all over it and again, although it looks fantastic in reality, it looks nothing much in photos. Anyway, here are a some photos of the forget-me-nots at my home.


The photos below show Satu Vaarre and her daughter wearing kimonos that they purchased from my wafuku.co.uk website, then took all the way to Japan to wear at Satu’s other daughter’s wedding in Kyoto. Satu’s black tomesode kimono has a scene with a magnificent temple in it, a temple that is also in Kyoto. Satu’s daughter’s kimono is a lovely warm brown shade of silk with painterly rocks with trees growing amongst them. Rocks, in Japan, are considered peaceful and contemplative.

They both look so natural in their kimono ensembles, as though they have been wearing kimonos all their lives. They both look fabulous.

I also rather like that the kimonos returned home to Japan once more, and were worn and appreciated again.

I was so pleased when Satu sent me these photos (and gave me permission to use them).  I have some of the nicest customers. They make me happy.


I came across this photo of one of my meisen silk haori. This was made way back when the fashion was for extra long haori with extra deep sleeves. Meisen silk is a bit like taffeta in texture. Meisen kimonos and haoris are becoming harder and harder to find in good condition and are now collectable garments.


 


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

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

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Padded Hanten and Burlesque Beauty

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

I’m still dealing with the slow process of putting all the product photos back on my wafuku.co.uk website. My original photo host suddenly wanted a massive amount of money to host them for my website, so I had to find new photo hosting. I then had to find the thousands of photos and upload the, changing the thousands of links to them on the website. This would have been time consuming enough but I found that I needed to colour correct 85% of the backed up photos and that is a very slow process, so, months after losing my original hosting, I am still dealing with the missing photos on the website. There are lots back up now but many, many more to still be done. It is maybe not such a bad thing, really. It may mean my site will lacking a lot of photos for still quite some time but it has made me aware of the need to fix many of them and the improvement is worthwhile. It also make me look through everything on my website and it is nice to have a good look at all the kimonos and other things and remember how nice they are.

This wonderful oil painted tomesode kimono’s photo is much more correct in colour now. I have bought a few oil painted antique kimonos but this is the only oil painted kimono I have ever found. It is very striking and the oil painting doesn’t make it rigid or anything, it is very wearable. I love its craggy landscape.


 

This reversible, padded, Japanese hanten from my website is perfect for a chilly, wintry day like today. It is so soft, light and cosy. One way round it has a Mount Fuji design and the other way it has a traditional Japanese design called Kamawanu; a pattern of sickle, circle and the hiragana script letter ‘nu’. This pattern was especially popular in Japan’s Edo Era and it represents the meaning, “don’t worry”. This is one of four padded hanten available on wafuku.co.uk, each with different patterns, each reversible and cosily padded.


 

This is actually a girl’s kimono, worn here by a UK size 8 adult of 5′ 1″ tall. These shichi-go-san girl’s kimonos are always wonderfully colourful, much moreso than most adult ones. Because children always wear their kimonos with a big tuck in each shoulder, making the shoulder narrower, and a big fold over at the waist, making them shorter, they are actually quite a good size for an adult when without those big tucks.

This one, at time of writing, is available on my site for £68.


 

 

I got a couple of lovely photos of one of my wafuku.co.uk kimonos, now owned, modelled and photographed by CherryFox, with very kind permission to us them.
By Day, Cherryfox® is a mild mannered professional photographer and Costumier. By night she is a Burlesque Fascinatrix and Sing-and-Fling show girl.


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

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Wafuku is having a SALE!

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

I’m having a SALE!

On my www.wafuku.co.uk website I am giving 20% off all items priced between £55 and £350, until 14 May, 2017.

Choose from 2 ways to get your discount
1. you can have your discount as cashback, refunded to you before your order is mailed.
OR
2. you can email your order to get an invoice with the 20% already deducted, just email your order instead of using the site’s shopping cart.

If emailing an order, give the item’s code (see example under picture below) and don’t forget to include your name and address too. I will then send you a PayPal invoice to pay for your order. NOTE* You do not need to have money in a PayPal account to pay, you can simply use PayPal to pay safely with your bank debit card. PayPal does not share your bank details with me, it keeps them safe and secure.

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Postage costs are on the site; if you use the site’s shopping cart it will charge full postage for each item, if you purchase more than one and they can be sent in one package, I will refund excess postage and packaging payment.

Now is the time to consider that fabulous, genuine, Japanese kimono or to treat yourself to a gorgeous, pure silk, hand tailored haori kimono jacket. So why not check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables, while this offer is available?

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Time Has Flown

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

Time Flies
It feels like just last month that I made my last blog post here but it has actually been much longer.

Tabi pumps
I found these Irregular Choice, hint of tabi toe pumps. Aren’t they sweet?

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Odori kimono
This fresh green kimono is one available on my www.wafuku.co.uk website. It is an odori kimono, and one of the few kimonos that I have more than one of. They were made for a traditional, Japanese dance troupe (odori means dance) and are a lovely, crisp green with simplified, painterly kiku (chrysanthemum) design. It is made of synthetic textile, so is conveniently hand washable. Odori kimonos are often made of washable textile.

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Pneumothorax.
Three months have been filled with looking after my daughter. I moved to her flat to do that. She had a pneumothorax, which is a collapsed lung. She actually had four, as the lung kept collapsing, and, in the end, had to be operated on to fix it.

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The first attempt to deal with it was done using a wide bore needle. This was to let out the air in the cavity that was pushing the lung flat. It only worked temporarily, after a couple of days of feeling better she steadily deteriorated and within the week had to go back and have that done again. Once more that failed to give lasting improvement, so she spent time in hospital with a chest tube. Even this wasn’t fully relieving the symptoms and, when removed, her lung soon collapsed again. It was decided that an operation to mend her lung was necessary, so another test tube was inserted for several days until she was moved to another hospital to have the surgery.

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The Victoria Infirmary

The first hospital was the old Victoria Hospital in Glasgow, it was awful. Run down, wards with lots of patients, many senile. It opened on St Valentine’s Day 1890. The staff, I’m sorry to say, were rather inept and very unhelpful. The night she was admitted and had the chest tube put in, the doctor had omitted to say that she should have had strong pain killers through the night. She was in agony; awake, crying and whimpering all through the night but the night staff would give her nothing for the pain other than a couple of paracetemol. The doctor on rounds the next day was horrified. She had an important, time sensitive blood test to be done, arranged prior to the lung problem, and for days she tried to get the ward’s nurses to find out about arranging it while she was stuck in hospital. They kept saying they would but it was just lip service and the essential day came and went and it wasn’t done. She also had another prior appointment that she was not going to be able to attend, in a department in that same hospital. She asked nurses to cancel it so someone else could use it, since she couldn’t attend it. Each one said they would but not one did. She managed to find the phone number on the day of the appointment, called herself and learned that no one had bothered to tell them.  My daughter was told that she would be transferred to The Golden Jubilee Hospital for the operation, a hospital that specialises in heart and lung conditions and in orthopedics too. Two or three days before she was due to be transferred she mentioned something about it to the ward nurse, who then told my daughter that it might not be the Jubilee at all, it might be another really old hospital in Glasgow instead. Right up until she was put into the ambulance for the transfer, we couldn’t find out for certain where she would be going. It was so frustrating and she was more and more stressed by this. She was scared and the Victoria Infirmary was awful in so many ways but her one consolation was that her operation would be done in an excellent, well appointed hospital by a lung specialist.

I was also waiting to hear where she was being taken, so I could go visit her there as soon as she was transferred. The staff in the ward told me they’d phone me when she was to be moved. When she was being put onto the gurney to go to the ambulance, she asked a nurse in her ward to phone me, to tell me where she was being taken. The nurse said, “you just do it yourself”. She had to phone me from the ambulance, so relieved to be leaving the Victoria Infirmary, it’s awful staff, its inedible food, its weird, unfamiliar, creeping insects, it’s big ward full of other people and its complete lack of privacy or quiet. She was very relieved to learn that she was going to the Golden Jubilee hospital after all.

The Golden Jubilee Hospital

You can see the Golden Jubilee Hospital above, though it is only part of that huge building, the rest is the hotel and conference centre. Compared to the Victoria Infirmary, it was like chalk and cheese; The Golden Jubilee Hospital provided spaceous, private rooms with en suite toilet and shower room, efficient, helpful and pleasant staff and the best of modern equipment. Not only that, the food was out of this world. Food we’d happily pay well for in a restaurant. Her room provided a television and free wifi. The only thing that had made her previous hospital endurable was a cheap, crappy tablet I have, with a crack in the corner of the glass, which allowed her to watch films and tv shows and shut out the rest of the ward, her pain and her fears. The Victoria Infirmary had provided no television and no wi-fi. I had regretted buying that tablet some time back, because it wasn’t good quality and I didn’t really need it anyway (I’d bought a very cheap one just to see if I would actually use one) but I was now so glad I had it because it kept my daughter sane during her two or so week stay in the Victoria. It had cost only £69 and had suddenly become a very useful purchase. When the nurse got her into bed at the Jubilee, he asked if she wanted her television switched on. She declined, saying, “I’m getting enough pleasure just seeing that there actually is a tv in my room”. Shortly after that I got a text from her saying that they gave her a cup of tea in a real, ceramic cup! She was struggling to breathe, in pain but her spirits were raised and she now felt cared for and a bit less scared. By the time I got there, she was groggy and getting oxygen; her operation would be the next day.

 

My daughter had been warned that the operation was a very painful one, post op, because, as you can see above, the talc causes the lung to become inflamed. She had a camera inserted into the chest, into the cavity around the lung, then whatever they use to for the keyhole surgery, then a wide tube was put in through her ribs at the bottom of the lung and attached to a small machine that she carried when she was eventually able to briefly get up. In the Victoria the tubes were connected to portable jars containing water and they looked for bubbles, in the Jubilee it was a very fancy machine with digital read-out, various electronic sounds and lights. This tube was even larger than the previous ones and caused much pain. She had a button that released painkiller but she had rather overdone it before she found that out she shouldn’t just keep pushing that button. It reduced the pain a lot but did not get rid of it, so she was pressing it every 15 minutes. She now knew what they meant by saying it was a painful operation and it remained extremely painful for a very long time.

She got home from hospital the evening of the day after the operation because she had someone available to look after her full time. I drove her home as slowly as I could because the tiniest hint of a bump was agonising. Once home, she couldn’t do anything, weeks of recovery were required. I moved into her flat and cared for her for several weeks. Her fiance cared for her at weekends and took time off work now and then, so I’d go home at those times, but most of the time he had to be at work during the day, so I stayed at their flat. She is not quite 100% yet and a tiny bit of her lung has not re-inflated but she has been told that is inconsequential. There is still some healing to be done, some swelling to go down and she has damaged nerves causing severe discomfort down the  right side of her chest,which happened during the first treatment she got at the Victoria Infirmary (insertion of a wide bore needle, then a tube) and no one knows if that will ever go away but the lung is apparently fixed. Good news, since there was a 5% chance that her lung would collapse again after the operation. It seems unlikely the repair will fail now.

Southern General Hospital – Glasgow

The Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow is now closed. The Southern General Hospital at Braehead has been rebuilt (see image above) and is now huge, incorporating four Glasgow hospitals, the other three of which have now been permanently closed. Not a moment too soon as far as the Victoria Infirmary is concerned and no doubt those other ancient ones too. Some newspaper recently printed a complaint, by someone in England, that Scotland had got this big, new hospital but they didn’t take into account that this is one that was rebuilt and three others were shut down. Those three were also old Victorian buildings, with severely run down, now unsuitable buildings and old, out of date equipment.this new one isn’t an additional hospital, it one new one in place of four very old ones.

The Royal Jubilee, where my daughter’s operation was done, is a fantastic hospital but that is sheer luck. It is part of a building that is a hotel, a conference centre and hospital. It was built in 1994, as a private hospital, built by Abu Dhabi Investment Company. The initial cost was £180 million. The venture proved unsuccessful in private hands and the hospital was purchased for the National Health Service, at a vastly reduced cost of £37.5 million in 2002. I think the kitchens may prepare food for the hotel, conference centre and hospital, which is why the food is so darned good.

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Ally Hilfiger Haori
I was watching something on television about Sears in the USA. It showed Ally Hilffiger, daughter of the American clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger, wearing a vintage Japanese haori.

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I also spotted pictures of Daphne Guinness wearing a kimono and a haori.

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Daphne Guinness in a Japanese haori
Worn with an ultra-deep belt

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

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Kimonos Are Not Only For Japanese Purists

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Mr Selfridge.
I was watching that television show (ITV, UK) and noticed a lovely furisode kimono in the window display. The picture is poor quality, as it is a screenshot from the ITV iPlayer and they reduce quality for streaming but it does let you see the kimono. The show stars Jeremy Piven as Mr Selfridge, the man who opened the store Selfridges that still exists in London. He is good in it, just as he was very good in his role in Entourage.

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Are kimonos only for the purists?
I read a comment on Reddit the other day, in which a Japanese woman said she felt that only Japanese people should wear kimonos and only those who applied all the strict Japanese rules about how they are worn, with obi etc., and wearing the correct kimono for the occasion and person’s age. She felt that no one other than a purist/traditionalist should be allowed to wear them, particularly those wearing them as house robes; she even said it was offensive (her word) to see the pictures of Rita Ora wearing one of my kimonos or to see anyone wearing one as a robe like that. The woman who said this is the only  person I have come across to say this, all other people I have spoken with or read comments by, including many Japanese people, do not think that way at all, in fact, quite the contrary. Needless to say I did not agree with her. To me, what she said is exactly the same idea as saying that women should not wear trousers because they were originally designed only for men to wear.
I felt she should also bear in mind that haori were originally meant to be worn only  by men but, many years ago, geisha broke that rule and started wearing these men’s jackets, after which, they became popular among other women and only then did haori start to be made specifically for women, so you now get many women wearing them. If that rule had not been broken, the women of Japan would not have haori to wear over their kimonos. If that rule could be broken in Japan, there is no reason not to break other kimono wearing traditions, especially when they are worn in The West, where kimonos are not worn as day to day, outdoor clothing and haoris not worn over them.
Since kimonos are rarely worn the same way in The West as they are in Japan, with obi or as outdoor clothes, it seems very pedantic to think that they should not therefore be worn there at all or that the Japanese traditional rules, dictating the styles and patterns for certain ages or occasions, should be adhered to by absolutely everyone who chooses to own and wear one either in or out of in Japan.
As you can see in the two pictures below, this Japanese man, in Japan, wears a kimonos with braces on top, attached to the obi, giving the traditional kimono wearing a slightly more contemporary look (photos from Akira Times). If Japanese people like him may break the rules and do that, why may others not just wear a beautiful kimono as a house robe, regardless of tradition? Why restrict them to only those who wear them the traditional way, with obi, and applying the strict age, occasion and colour rules?

The woman also thought that, if worn as a robe, it was appalling that it meant that the kimono would be worn frequently and the silk would touch the skin and therefore need cleaned more frequently than one that was rarely worn and only worn the traditional way on top of a naga-juban, so not touching the skin. She seemed to insist that they only be cleaned using the araihari method, which is a traditional one of completely dismantling the garment, cleaning the individual pieces, then remaking it, traditional method that resulted in rarely cleaning them, whereas I believe that careful dry cleaning is an acceptable alternative for a kimono that is used frequently as a robe.
Most vintage kimonos would become nothing more than moth food or be cut up and destroyed or would just sit in a box and never see the light of day and be appreciated if many were not re-purposed as robes or worn in some other non traditional way. Their being worn has to be a good thing, regardless of how they are worn, rather than all of them being hidden away, unappreciated for the majority of the time simply so they don’t get worn out or dirty.

Without a doubt, that woman would not approve of haori being worn in The West over yofuku (clothing that is not traditionally Japanese), such as you can see in the picture below. What a loss that would be. The haori is such a gem when worn with western world clothing.

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Even in Japan nowadays, young people are sometimes seen to be wearing kimonos in deliberately non-traditional ways. The traditional rules are fine for kimono purists but I do not believe it is fine to say that they may only be worn by the purists and in the ways the purists dictate. I am very glad the old kimono rules are still maintained in Japan by some, whom I admire for doing it and keeping those traditions alive, but that should not be allowed to stop their use by those who choose to not follow those rules. I really do admire any person who abides by all the strict kimono wearing rules in Japan but do not feel they should be reserved only for them. Kimonos are clothing, not religion, not part of only some private club, so should be worn and enjoyed whatever way one chooses, as long as they are worn and loved and their beauty seen and enjoyed.

No doubt she would be utterly horrified to see my sister wearing a girl’s kimono open over western clothes, as a pretty evening coat, or, as you can see below, my daughter wearing this child’s antique kimono as a dress.

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There is room for both purists and non-purists to wear wafuku (traditional Japanese clothing). It does not matter how one chooses to enjoy wearing it, it only matters that one does choose to do it and that their beauty and the work of the skilled Japanese artisans can be seen and appreciated.

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battle2

Cable companies want to slow down (and break!) your favorite sites, all so they can profit. What we have now will slow to a crawl, sites taking forever to load unless we pay a premium to get extra speed. This is what cable companies are pushing the government to give them.

FIGHT THEM now or regret it forever. It is up to US. Click here to take action.

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

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Textile Art To Drool Over

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

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Japanese textile art often leaves me overwhelmed by its beauty and intricacy. Many kimonos have hand applied textile art, known as yuzen, created by several artisans, from the designer to an artist whose speciality may be outlining, another whose speciality is shading, perhaps one who applies metallic lacquer etc.There are also magnificent examples of textile art that is woven and some is hand printed or stencilled or created using batik or shibori (tye dye) techniques.

I am saying this simply as an excuse to show off some beautiful examples of the Japanese garments I have.

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This next kimono has a wonderful repeat landscape.

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Blind Man’s Bluff on a Men’s Haori Lining.
One way geisha entertain is by playing lighthearted games and here, on the donsu silk lining of a men’s haori, is a portrayal of a game of blind man’s bluff being played in a dark room, by just the light of the moon coming through a little window.
The outside of the haori is black habutae silk, with 5 mon, making it the most formal haori, called an itsutsu montsuki haori.

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The outside of that haori; black habutae silk with 4-eye mon. There are three mon at the back and two at the front, making it the most formal style of men’s montsuki haori.

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Mount Fuji Through clouds. Simple but striking.

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The textile artist has added his signature to this kimono.

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An antique furisode kimono. This kimono has the ultra-deep swinging sleeves of a furisode (only worn by young, unmarried women) and wonderful artwork including brightly coloured flowers, beautiful birds, ouches of lacquer work and lavish, gold  embroidery.

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A delightful woven design on a pre tied obi.

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

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Japanese Fairytales & Love Love Umbrellas

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

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Japanese Fairytales. There is a lovely book called Green Willow and Other Japanese Fairytales, with gorgeous illustrations, available to read for free online here, provided by The New York Public Library.  The  illustrations are by Warwick Goble. The a scanned copy at that link is of the first edition of 1910, which had 40 color plates; later editions only had 16 plates. Two illustration plates are missing from that scanned edition (opposite pages 50 and 142). The NOTE in the book says…

about the book

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You can see a few of the book’s lovely illustrations below.

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 I really like rats and am especially charmed by rats in kimonos.

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Here is the book cover.

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The illustrations remind me a bit of Arthur Rackham’s works.

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Japanese Lovers draw an Ai Ai Gasa. Ai ai gasa means ‘love love umbrella’. Here in the West, lovers draw a heart containing their names, sometimes carving it into the bark on a tree trunk. In Japan the expression of love that couples draw is an ai ai gasa, like the one below.

Ai-Ai Gasa -Love Love Umbrella

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

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Spotty Dotty, Trompe-L’œil & Kimono Cleaning

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk WordPress blog

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Cotton Kimonos.
Here are two of my cotton kimonos. The first is one with a slightly op-art spotty pattern that I love, with kanzemizu (swirling water) in the large, grey spots, and the second kimono is an odori yukata, a cotton kimono that would be worn at an odori matsuri (dance festival), with a motif of traditional Japanese 3 stringed instruments called shamisen and some bachi, which are the huge plectrums used to play shamisen.

The spotty cotton kimono.

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The shamisen motif cotton kimono.

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Hand Washable Kimono.
The next kimono is made of synthetic textile and is hand washable. It is unlined and probably made for dance, as traditional Japanese dancers often wear synthetic kimonos because they can be washed and unlined ones to keep them cooler as they dance.  It is a nice bright green and a very painterly design. Green is a colour that relatively few kimonos come in; you do get green ones but there seem to be fewer of those than most other colours.

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I have just added these three kimonos and several more to my website.

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More haori.
Here are three haori that I added to my wafuku.co.uk website this week.

The first has a nice trompe-l’œil print that looks like red lace on a light blue ground. It is silk but, surprisingly, is of a weave that feels rather like cotton. Silk, of course, can be woven into many textures and feels. This haori also has cute little Daruma on the silk upper lining.

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The next haori has houndstooth check (sometimes called dogtooth) made up of stylised cranes. 

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The third haori has  a kanzemizu (swirling water) design on a bokashi (shaded) background.

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Cleaning kimonos, haoris and obis.
The traditional method of cleaning a kimono is called Araihari. It involves unpicking all the stitches and taking the kimono apart entirely. Each piece of kimono fabric is then stretched out and cleaned, then slightly starched and allowed to dry. Once dry, the kimono has to be sewn back together again. Obviously this is a very time consuming and very, very expensive cleaning method but if your kimono or haori has cost thousands of pounds, as silk ones tend to, or even tens of thousands of pounds, which is not unusual, it is a wise and worthwhile investment. Araihari is still done but many people nowadays have their precious kimonos cleaned instead by specialist dry cleaners.

To have a kimono cleaned by arhairi, if one does not want to do it oneself, one uses a shikkai. Shikkai is a place where they do a variety of kimono aftercare things, such as araihari (dismantling and washing), maruarai (washing a kimono just as it is, not first disassembles), shiminuki (stain removal) and kakehagi (invisible mending), sumpo naoshi (alterations), somekae (re-dyeing) and mon-ire (applying a crest or family crest -kamon).

After araihari cleaning, as it dries, the kimono fabric has to be stretched to keep its shape and to smooth it. You can see, in the pictures below, how flexible rods called Shinshibari (a type of bamboo needle)  are used to do this. The fabric is held by wooden clamps at each end. Araihari requires a lot of space too. I was given the pictures by a friend, with no details of whom to attribute them to, so, if you know, please let me know.

stretching flat

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Sometimes the textile is stretched out on very long boards (note, from the front hem all the way up and over the shoulder, then back down to the back hem is one very long piece of fabric, as kimonos have no shoulder seams).

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Here are the required tools.

ar tools

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Here is a large art installation, called Obi, by Yanda, which is a huge screen, with its design based on an obi being cleaned using araihari, for the exhibition of AODJ, which sends Japanese creativity worldwide. You can see the giant shinshibari (stretching rods) clearly.

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You can also see shinshibari (stretching rods) used here to keep a length of silk taut while a textile artist paints a design on it for a yuzen kimono.

yuzen stretch

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Here is a woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849), called Two Beauties of Spring. The women are cleaning a kimono using the araihari method. Katsushika Hokusai’s best known work, which you will have seen, is  The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

araihariwoodblockKatsushikaHokusai1

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

www.wafuku.co.uk

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me.

I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and its being there does not mean that I back or recommend it. 

Pretty Things & Helpful Tips

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk WordPress blog

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Does anyone know why my blog layout is confined to the left side of the browser window?
When opened to full screen in Chrome browser, my layout only covers 50% of the window width and in Firefox it is just around 60% of the width, with just plain black background on the right side. I don’t know why this is and I can’t find anything in the WordPress options to make it spread over the entire window. I want the menu strip down the extreme right side and the body of the blog to entirely fill the rest of the width. If anyone has the answers, please let me know via a comment.

blog layout problem

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How to tie men’s haori himo
I want to start this post with this instruction diagram because I was asked for it by someone. My previous one had Japanese text but this one can easily be followed with no text. It also shows how a himo can be attached to the little loops on the haori but men’s himo are more often hooked onto those, with little S shaped metal hooks. This means the himo only has to be tied once, since it is unhooked to unfasten it, not untied.
Women’s haori himo are tied differently from men’s ones and are normally untied to unfasten the haori. A man’s himo can be threaded into the haori loops and tied each time it is worn, if one has no hooks, and some women’s himo, often ones that are a string of beads or a decorative chain, are hooked on and off instead of tied.

If you have no hooks you can make some out of a hairgrip, using pointed nosed pliers to cut and bend it into two S shaped hooks. I needed two pairs of pliars, one to hold it and one to bend. You may need to file the cut end to smooth it off so it doesn’t catch on things.  You can see the proper hooks in the picture below. Sometimes a necklace clasp is attached to each end and used to clip the himo onto the haori’s loops.

himohook

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I thought I would show you this antique haori from my website.
It is the longer length, with the much deeper sleeves that these older ones have. I like the lovely soft blue colour of the silk. It is shown being worn by a UK size 8-10 woman and she wears it gathered at the back and with the front edge folded back, lying open at the front, held by a wide belt. Although haori are designed to be worn on top of Japanese kimonos, they do look fantastic with western world clothing.

antiquebluelong

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Shibori Long Haori.
Here is another longer length, antique haori, also with the much deeper sleeves. This one is shibori (tie dye) silk and has a cute upper lining with ships on it. The external design is kiku (chrysanthemums). Shibori silk is highly prized in Japan because it takes a long time to produce when it is hand done, as this haori is. Because it takes a lot of time and skill, it is also very expensive. It is often seen on obiage (obi scarves), as this was a way to have some shibori without it costing an arm and a leg, since it was only on a small item. It still made the shibori obiage much more expensive than one with none on it, of course, but shibori clothing could be out of many people’s reach.

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The ships on the lining are rather nice.

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Here is the front…

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I have a handy tip for mobile phone owners.
The cable on phone chargers is notoriously bad for splitting where it enters the end fittings. This is because that is the point that most often gets bent and that splits the plastic coating and eventually breaks the wires. To stop it happening, you can take the spring from a ballpoint pen and wind it around the cable, making sure to hook the end over the thicker part on the cable, to hold the spring in place. This spreads the stress on the wire so that it is no longer all at that very end point and causing it to weaken and possibly split. You can see what I mean from the picture of mine, below.

springguard

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Kansai Yamamoto Yukata Kimonos.
Below are two Kansai Yamamoto kimonos from my website (I have some of his geta too). Kansai Yamamoto is the Japanese designer who designed David Bowie’s costumes for the Ziggy Stardust tour many years ago. He still designs clothing and does a range of different types of kimonos and Japanese footwear.
These kimonos are folded and stitched closed, so I can’t show them opened out, but you can see the patterns on the cotton.

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The ball on it is called a temari (sometimes just written as mari). Temari are traditional, Japanese, decorative balls, often quite large, which are bound in different coloured threads to create the designs. You can see a closer view of it in the next photo. It has some nice, delicate, gold outlines, as do the stamens of some of the peonies.

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This next one is a darker one, in colouring very popular in yukatas just now.

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Closer view…

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Some Kansai geta too…

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and another…

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Temari.
As I mentioned above, temari are Japanese, decorative balls, with a pattern created by covering them in thread. Traditionally they were created by parents or grandparents and given to children on New Year’s day and were often made from the thread of old kimonos. I only have one or two temari, though not the ones in this picture, which were made by an 88 year old woman. Flickr user, NanaAkua, photographed this large and beautiful collection of temari created by her 88-year-old grandmother who began to master the art in her 60s.  Click on that picture to open a page where you can see 500 of the temari she made.

temari

and a few more pictures here.

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Noren.
I’ll finish off today’s post with some noren. The first (blue) one isn’t one of mine, the second one (with puppies) is.
The blue one has Japanese text on it that says “iki”. Iki means understated elegance or quiet elegance. It is considered an art, an admirable trait to be iki.

ikinoren

This next noren is very cute, with the back view of a pair of puppies enjoying hanami (the annual cherry blossom viewing).
Noren are split curtains, hung at doors but sometimes, nowadays, used as room dividers or hung on the wall to be decorative. They are often hung from shop doors and you see them at the doors of tea rooms and geisha houses etc. Two strips is usual but you sometimes find them with more. you part the strips as you walk through. Both of these are two strip noren, roughly 85 x 150cm, split up the centre.

puppynoren

Here are the puppies close up…

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

www.wafuku.co.uk

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me.

I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and its being there does not mean that I back or recommend it. 

More Japanese Haori Jackets & How To Tie A Haori Himo

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk WordPress blog

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Japanese haori are long jackets, with deep, kimono style sleeves, designed to be worn on top of a kimono, though they are fabulous when worn over western world style clothes, like jeans or dresses. Women’s haori can be particularly beautiful, often with fabulous, Japanese textile art on them. They are not worn with an obi, though they do look great when cinched in with a belt or sash. They are usually fastened very loosely with a pair of ties called a himo, which is normally bought separately from the haori. Men’s himo are usually hooked onto the haori and unhooked to  open it, rather than untied, though one can just untie the himo instead. Women’s himo are usually looped onto the haori and tied each time it is worn. Below you can see some examples of haori and, above those, instructions showing how to tie women’s himo, then how to tie men’s himo, as each gender ties theirs differently.

How to tie a woman’s haori himo

HIMO-INSTRUCTIONS - womens

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How to tie a man’s haori himo

tying a man's himo

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Now some examples of women’s and men’s haori from my www.wafuku.co.uk website, where you can also see hundreds more

Women’s

1920s red haori

1920s red haori

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Geometric  design haori, worn with a sash, with western world clothes

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Lacy print haori

Lacy print haori

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fabulous bird haori

Fabulous bird design haori

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All hand done shibori (intricate tie dye) haori

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1920s purple haori

1920s purple haori

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Pink butterflies galore haori

Butterflies galore haori

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Pink with mums haori

Pink haori with chrysanthemums

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haoris with western world clothing

Examples of haori worn with western world clothing

Men’s haori

Men’s haori differ from women’s; the sleeves are attached to the body either all the way down the inner edge or all but an inch or so down. This is to match their kimonos. The sleeves of men’s kimonos are the same, whereas women’s kimono and haori sleeves swing loose and unattached at the body edge for a lot of their depth, this is because women wear very deep obis, so the sleeves have to be able to hang over them, whereas men wear much narrower obis and wear them lower down, so their sleeves do not get in the way and can be attached to the body of their garments all the way down.

Another difference with men’s kimonos and haoris is that they tend to be very subdued in pattern and colour. A long, long time back, the nobles and samurai got somewhat annoyed that so many rich merchants of lower class were able to afford and wear very ornate, ostentatious clothing, showing up the poorer of the samurai and upper classes and not allowing the richer ones to stand out, so a law was passed banning men who were neither samurai nor noblemen from wearing ornate clothing. This led the lower classes to adopt what was known as hidden beauty, putting fabulous textile designs on the linings of their haoris and on their naga-juban underwear kimonos. In time this made them feel superior and more classy, as their beautiful textiles were less flaunted but still there. You can see examples of that hidden beauty on the linings of some of the men’s haori below

3 geisha men's haori

3 geisha lining, men’s haori

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Galloping horse men's haori

Galloping horse lining, men’s haori

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Airy ro silk men's summer haori, with bamboo mon (crests)

Airy ro silk men’s summer haori, with bamboo mon (crests)

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Shunga (traditional Japanese erotic art) lining men's haori

Shunga (traditional Japanese erotic art) lining, men’s haori

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Japanese woman lining

Japanese woman lining, men’s haori

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Beautiful scenes lining, men's haori

Beautiful scenes lining, men’s haori

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Simi-e (ink and wash) lining, men's haori

Simi-e (ink and wash art) lining, men’s haori

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Woman with scroll lining, men's haori

Woman with scroll lining, men’s haori

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Another shunga (traditional Japanese erotic art) lining, men's haori

Another shunga (traditional Japanese erotic art) lining, men’s haori

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Donsu lining men's haori

 Fabulous scenery, on donsu lining, men’s haori.

Donsu linings have the design woven into the silk and haori with them are known as donpa haori

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