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Grab A Beautiful Bargain -15% Sale on wafuku.co.uk

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

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

Now is a great time to grab yourself a beautiful, genuine Japanese kimono, haori or all manner of other Japanese garments and many other things from my www.wafuku.co.uk  website because right now there is 15% of everything on the website.

Womens’, Men’s and Children’s kimonos…

 

 

 

 


All types of footwear…

 

 

 

 

 


All obis…


All haori kimono jackets…


Bags…


Cozy jackets…


More kimonos

 

 

…and 15% off absolutely everything else on the wafuku.co.uk, not just the clothing.

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of 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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Mon and Kamon – Japanese Crests – Japanese Kimonos

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

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Japanese Mon & Kamon

Mon means crest and kamon means family crest. The origin of the Japanese family mon goes back to the eleventh century. Each of the high ranking officers of the day began using a specific textile designs on their most formal wear, to be worn at the Imperial Court by all courtiers. Then they started having them on their carriages as well. The designs steadily became more refined and elegant. These emblems later became the formal mon (crests) we know now and were always put on formal garments.

When the Heian period ended and the samurai warrior class took over the government, at the end of the twelfth century, the warriors used their own emblems on their banners, flags, weapons and hanging screens to identify their camps and headquarters in the time of war. The warriors, who recognized that they were less cultured than the nobles, copied with admiration what the courtiers did

When the roll of fabric is dyed for a kimono that will have mon on it, discs of fabric are masked with rice paste, to be left undyed and white, the mon design (chosen by the person having the kimono made) is then stencilled onto the white disc. There is always a seam at the centre back of the kimono, so the roll of kimono fabric has half circles left in the correct place at the edges so that, when sewn together, it forms a disc for the mon at the centre back. Kimono fabric is produced in rolls (bolts) and every roll for a man’s kimono is exactly the same size, every roll of women’s kimono silk is the same size (and longer than for a man’s one), every roll of haori silk is the same size etc., so any pattern or mon disc on the garment is printed or masked out on the roll at exactly the right place for when it is cut out. This is why these garments vary very little in size; any slight variation in size is due only to the amount of seam allowance when sewn. They have no darts or other shaping of any kind, everything is rectangular.

A mon makes a garment a formal one, suitable for formal occasions. It can have one, three or five mon; the more mon it has, the more formal the occasion it is deemed suitable for. Garments with mon are divded into three types: itsutsu mon (5 mon), mitsu mon (3 mon) and hitotsu mon (1 mon).

There are different styles of mon too. In the picture below, showing three variations of icho (ginko) mon, you can see three versions of a the mon: hinata – full sun (left), kage – shadow (middle), and nakakage – mid shadow (right). The more subtle versions are for slightly less formal occasions. There are also embroidered mon, called nui mon.

A family may choose a mon that is associated with their family (a family mon is called a kamon) or just opt for one they like instead. They are seen on all sorts of items in Japan: clothing, signs, boxes, ceramics, banners etc.

Women are not obliged to adopt their husbands’ family mon, they may wear their maiden mons, called onna mon. Below you can see mon on two silk, women’s tomesode kimonos; one kimono with an oil painting of mountains and one with an embroidered winter scene.

There are hundreds symbols used in mon and many variations of each. Some popular emblems are sasa (bamboo) leaves, yotsume (4 eyes, a mon of four diamond shapes), tsuta (ivy), kiri (paulownia), tachibana (citrus/mandarin), ageha (butterfly), ume (plum blossom), katabami (wood sorrel/oxalis/clover), mokku (gourd), papaya slice, hanabishi (diamond flower), sensu (folding fans), tsuru (cranes), fuji (wisteria) and myouga (Japanese ginger).

Over the centuries many new mon emblems have been developed and many variations designed of old ones

The most frequently seen (by me, at least, and I have seen thousands of kimonos) are ivy, plum blossom, ginger, butterfly and, especially, paulownia. You can see a paulownia mon on pink in a photo above and, below, some information about paulownia in Japanese mythology.

The mon in the picture below is an interesting one; it is a Japanese mafia mon, worn at induction ceremonies.

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Kiri (paulownia): A deciduous tree, native to eastern Asia. In Japanese myths it is said to have the only branches phoenix will land on. It is very popular in traditional Japanese art, particularly textile art where it is often seen on beautiful women’s kimonos and a very popular mon (crest) motif. It is also the flower symbol of is the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan. Paulownia is also known as foxglove tree and princess tree.

An exquisite, antique, itsutsu mon tomesode kimono, with hand applied textile art showing treasure ship festival floats and busy people

 


A hitotsu mon

Children’s Japanese Kimonos

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

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Children’s, Japanese kimonos, as well as looking fabulous on children and making wonderful newborn/christening gifts, are ideal as display items, as they are much smaller than adult kimonos, so need less wall space. One can frame them, like the examples below, or simply hang the kimono from a narrow bamboo pole and pin the bottoms of the fronts out. The exceptional artwork on them makes them a striking display item. One silk, baby’s kimono I have in my personal collection has a wartime design on it, with soldiers, aircraft, tanks etc. It seems a very strange subject to have on a small child’s kimono but was seen as a patriotic theme during the war.
A pure silk, child’s kimono, like those shown below, is not an inexpensive item. They cost hundreds and even thousands of pounds (GBP), which makes vintage one, in good condition, a very good purchase, as it is a fraction of the price.

 


Japanese Kokeshi Dolls – wafuku.co.uk – Vintage Japanese Kimonos

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Kokeshi dolls
Kokeshi are traditional, Japanese dolls, with a very recognisable and specific style
. Originally whittled by men at work, to take home to their children. They are very simple in design, a head and a body, usually with painted clothing and features, and no separately carved arms.
Below you can see pictures of the favourite one I own; a very odd choice for a kokeshi doll, as it is a Christian nun and Christianity is certainly not the most common religion in Japan. I love it because it is such an anomaly

Another favourite of mine is the kokeshi doll below; a 1950s, nodding head, nesting kokeshi. The head is made to turn and wobble and the doll opens up to reveal a little boy kokeshi hidden inside. I bought a box containing about ten of these, kept 4 for myself, my daughter and friends and sold the rest.

There are so many different kokeshi dolls. made in every style thinkable, and now there is a craze for collecting Momiji Dolls, clearly based on kokeshi, as you can see from the photo of a Momiji Doll below.

 


Kitagawa Utamaro Ukiyoe Geisha Print Juban Kimono – Displayed

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In the photograph you can see a most unusual juban (naga juban) kimono with famous ukiyoe images of geisha. These images are from woodblock prints by Kitagawa Utamaro (1754-1806). This kimono has been made by someone, in Japan, by creating a patchwork of the fabric pages from a textile sample book. It belongs to my daughter who has it hanging on her bedroom wall. Being a juban kimono, it is shorter than an outerwear kimono, because jubans are not worn with a fold-over of fabric at the waist, so they are more or less ankle length, depending on one’s height, whereas outerwear kimonos are deliberately made way too long, so a fold-over (ohashiori) can be made at the waist when they are worn; being shorter makes it easier to display.

When a child, my daughter had a colouring book full of these famous prints, which she absolutely loved. When I saw this juban kimono for sale, I had to buy it for her. If I’d had the wall space to display it in my own home, I might have been very tempted to keep it for myself.

ukiyoe juban kimono

Men’s Japanese Kimono Outfit

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

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The full, formal, men’s wafuku outfit can be seen below. The full length kimono is worn tucked inside the hakama. Over the top, he wears a haori kimono jacket. Haori are fastened with a haori himo, which is hooked onto the inner edges of the haori. Men’s himo should not be untied, as they are very complex to re-tie, one simply unhooks the himo at one side to open the jacket. A himo is not essential for more casual wear of a haori kimono jacket. Himo are bought separately and moved from one haori to another. The white one in the picture is a very formal himo; for more casual wear, one would wear a smaller, simpler one, usually of a more muted colour.

One of the main differences between men’s and women’s kimonos is the sleeves. The sleeves of women’s are unattached from the body for over half their depth and are open at the inner edge, not sewn closed, whereas men’s kimono sleeves are attached either all the way down or with just an inch or so unattached at the body edge. Women’s sleeves have to be free from the body for a greater depth because they wear such a deep obi and the sleeve must not get in the way of it, so the sleeve hangs free of the body for much of its depth. Men’s obis are relatively narrow, so the deep sleeves can be attached much further down the body.

Another notable difference between men’s and women’s kimonos is the length; women’s kimonos are extra long, as they are worn with a large, length adjusting fold-over at the waist, held in place with a koshi himo tie, whereas men’s kimonos are worn without the length adjusting fold at the waist.

Setta sandals have thong toes and are worn with tabi socks.

Men’s kimonos are not always worn with hakama and haori, the picture above shows the full outfit for formal occasions. The kimono, worn underneath the hakama and haori, is held closed with a kaku obi, which is also used to help keep the hakama up.

Mens’ kimonos are usually very subdued in pattern and colour, although their under kimonos (jubans) and haori linings are often striking but the outerwear kimonos are usually muted in colour and design. The reason men no longer wear very brightly coloured and very decoratively patterned outer kimonos is that, way back, rich merchants started wearing extremely ornate, expensive kimonos, often more expensive and fancy than nobles or those of the samurai class could afford, so a law was passed stating that only nobles and samurai class could wear fancy outer kimonos, all other men had to wear only muted ones (unless worn for theatrical purposes such as dance performance or weddings etc). They took to putting wonderful textile art on their juban underwear kimonos and on haori kimono jacket linings, which became known as hidden beauty, since it didn’t show on the outside, and the merchant classes and commoners started to feel superior about that, it seemed more classy than the ostentatious garments of garish, vivid colours and numerous fancy brocades that the nobles and samurai class continued to wear.

Here’s a link to How to put on a man’s haori and attach and tie a man’s haori himo. Women’s himo are tied differently, you can see how to tie a woman’s haori himo here


Video part 1 – How To Put On A Nagoya Obi – wafuku.co.uk Vintage Japanese Kimonos

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A lesson in how to put on a nagoya obi, with a taiko ‘knot’ at the rear. Nagoya obi have the sash section already folded in half and the rear knot section at full width. The video is in two parts.

The woman in the video is wearing her kimono with the fold-over tied at the waist, to adjust length, and has, round her waist, a koshi himo (soft tie) under a (pink) date-jime obi around her waist. She also wears an obi ita (stiffening board) under her obi. Her (white) obi ita has an elastic strap round the back, most obi ita have no strap and are just held in place by the obi. She puts the nagoya obi on top of all those.

You can also get pre-shaped, two part nagoya obi, which do away with all the time consuming, complicated tying, but look the same once on.

The makura (pillow) she mentions is an obi bustle pad, which pads out the top of the rear knot and is hidden inside the knot, covered by an obiage. The obiage is a scarf-like tie that goes around the top of the obi sash and is tied at the front, then partially tucked under the sash. Around the middle of the sash, to help hold the obi in place, is a cord called an obijime, also tied at the front.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Video part 2 – How To Put On A Nagoya Obi – wafuku.co.uk Vintage Japanese Kimonos

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Part two of lesson in how to put on a nagoya obi, with a taiko ‘knot’ at the rear, an obiage, makura and obijime.

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The Kimono That Started My Passion

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The ‘geisha’ in the garden, shown below, is my long suffering daughter, who patiently allows me to photograph her in an endless array of kimonos to display on my site, allowing people to see what many of them look like when on. In the photos below, she is wearing one of her own kimonos; that’s the kimono that made me feel I had to own one of my own and got my passion for kimonos started.
geisha-in-scottish-garden


Putting on a Kimono & Hanhaba Obi – Parts 1 & 2

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Here are two videos I found on Youtube, showing how to put on a yukata kimono and hanhaba obi. It is in two parts below. If you only want the hanhaba obi instructions, they are in Part 2.

In Japan they say, if you attend one kimono class per week, you will just about learn how to put on and wear a kimono in one year.

Part 1

Part 2 – including hanhaba obi tying instructions