Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kimono Rentals

Near the cafeteria at the university is a small shop that rents kimonos.  Kimonos are very expensive to buy to wear to graduation or Coming of Age ceremonies, so rental kimonos are available in a variety of colors and styles at this shop.




As you can see from this tag, it is still expensive to rent the kimonos.



Wikepedia has this to say about kimonos: “The kimono is a Japanese traditional garment worn by men, women and children. The word "kimono", which literally means a "thing to wear" (ki "wear" and mono "thing"), has come to denote these full-length robes. Kimono are T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial), and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi).

Today, kimono are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.

A woman's kimono may easily exceed US$10,000; a complete kimono outfit, with kimono, undergarments, obi, ties, socks, sandals, and accessories, can exceed US$20,000. A single obi may cost several thousand dollars. However, most kimonos owned by kimono hobbyists or by practitioners of traditional arts are far less expensive. Enterprising people make their own kimono and undergarments by following a standard pattern, or by recycling older kimonos. Cheaper and machine-made fabrics can substitute for the traditional hand-dyed silk. There is also a thriving business in Japan for second-hand kimonos, which can cost as little as ¥500 (about $5). Women's obis, however, mostly remain an expensive item. Although simple patterned or plain colored ones can cost as little as ¥1,500 (about $15), even a used obi can cost hundreds of dollars, and experienced craftsmanship is required to make them. Men's obis, even those made from silk, tend to be much less expensive, because they are narrower, shorter and less decorative than those worn by women.”

 I took these photos at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.





According to their website, some Japanese symbols include:  crane- long life, faithfulness; tortoise - long life; lotus flower enlightenment, purity.

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