Japan Time

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kimono Lesson in Fuji.

This morning I went to Fuji to take a kimono lesson with another teacher, Michael, and his co-worker, Yumi. Kimono are a beautiful part of Japanese culture and history, but also very difficult to wear. There are a lot layers and parts. Many young women in Japan don't know how to wear kimono, so there are kimono lessons available in many places.
We arrived at the kimono sensei's home today at about 10 am and got straight to work. One woman did my hair while another helped Michael into his kimono. Then three women helped me put on a beautiful pink kimono. It's amazing how much work and effort goes into wearing a kimono. There's a lot of layers and strings and many hands are needed to wrestle it around the wearer's body.
Having a few people dress you is an interesting experience. Especially in a lesson situation where you just met these people five minutes before they asked you to undress. I think the whole process took about ten minutes, but it was definitely worth the time and slight awkwardness.
After fully kimono-ed, we took part in a traditional tea ceremony, which is always an interesting experience. This was my second tea ceremony. A traditional Japanese tea ceremony is full of little customs and rules, one of the most interesting being that you need to slurp loudly during your last gulp of tea to let the host know you've finished.
After tea, we went to a shrine to take photos.

One of the ladies showed us this kimono that her grandfather wore. It's an old silk men's kimono with his family crest pn the outside and a beautiful painting on the inside.

Before tea.

Me, Michael, kimono ladies and a husband

And a great view of Mt. Fuji.
Yumi is part of a tour guide business based in Fuji and she's a wonderful guide. So if you're in Japan and want someone to help show you around, look her up! You can see her blog here.

1 comment:

pamjean48818 said...

where is michael from?
Do you own the kimono?
Very Pretty!!