Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dressing for Sansha Taisai

A bit of background info: 
The yukata is a Japanese summer kimono worn by both men and women. The name yukata comes from the word "yu" (bath) and "katabira" (under clothing ). Thousands of years ago court nobles began wearing yukatabira.It gradually became worn by Japanese warriors and then by the general public when the sophisticated Japanese public bath became popular. Today, the traditional Japanese yukata is widely used for everything from festivals, ryokan, summer daily wear to simple night attire. In Japan, the yukata is the most popular daily clothing wear and is beloved for its 100% lightweight cotton fabric. The fabric designs vary from the traditional plain cross hatch pattern to more colorful scenery designs.
 (I knew it would tie in to the onsens somehow....)

We entered an incredibly old, authentic Japanese building. Really old...like back in the Meiji or Edo time periods....but I DO KNOW that during WW2 the family lost some of their fortune and gave the mansion to the city of Hachinohe. This is where we came to dress or be dressed for the festival. 

We took of our shoes. We walked in and quickly saw a room full of folks dressing. The boys high tailed it back outside. They enjoyed an international discussion between American, Japanese and Brazilian young men. Men the world over drink juice and wait for women to finish dressing. ::snort:: 

I noticed that one American had worn tights and a tank...wish we'd thought to do the same....but that's fine....the one man wouldn't leave...so Akikosan took us behind rice screens...and we began to transform our dress. Akikosan brought a "professional kimono dresser" in to dress us....who knew? 

Beautiful yukata that Akikosan gave Arielle

When in Rome....yeah...derriere photos...to show the Obis....these must have been good, because we were stopped throughout the festival by women who chattered and admired either the tied obis or our rears...I figure it was the obis. (Do note I did NOT make anything up - there's a gentleman in the room). 

Do note the slight problem with Akikosan's plan of hiding us behind the rice screen...a bank of windows on one side...

Stacia's tied Obi

Poor Arielle, they tied and tied and tugged and we waited....

A window facing into the room of waiting men and dressers with a window...too bad I didn't notice this before we were dressed. ::snort:: Maybe better I didn't. 

Prerequisite derriere photo

 This made everyone happy - they put matching flowers in their obis because they are sisters. 

No one seemed overly concerned with MY hair...but several were thrilled to get their hands on the blond hair.....

Arielle, Akikosan, Me, Stacia

All those people dressing in one room.....

The mansion was old - as was this tree....wish I'd had time for more photos

Process: Drape the yukata over your body, secure with bungee cords, wrap torso in thick, fabric covered, cardboard...pull, twist, stretch, squeeze, tie bow....take mincing steps to the fancy hair station.  The goal is to have a shapeless figure...got me...but that's it....straight, no waist...check the video clip below. 

If you'd like REAL directions (and in case you don't believe me about all the layers) view here....

I see the undergarment we need to buy before next time. As you can see there is a "right" way to wear each piece. If you DO get it wrong...you are sure to be stopped and adjusted. 

Arielle had the wider obi and had a terrible time trying to eat.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Anonymous said...

You ladies look absolutely lovely.


MamaArcher said...

You all look so beautiful! That looks like it was so much fun! Kind of like playing dress up!! :o)

Cynthia said...

Very interesting post!