Monday, 3 January 2011

Kitsuke










I am sorry for not having written on my blog for so long. I have been working on my PhD and also on keeping up posts on the kimono facebook page, which I think is going from strength to strength. I am going to write about the art of kitsuke, kimono dressing.
I started learning kitsuke in a kitsuke school, almost before I could speak Japanese, so I learnt the language and the kitsuke together, really. There were about ten girls in the class and I was the only one who seemed to need to ask questions, but my teachers were patient with this strange foreigner and appreciated my desire to learn how to do it all properly. At first I thought I would just learn to dress myself, but then I wanted more and more, and I ended up staying in classes for two years and becoming qualified as a kitsuke dresser and teacher, after taking a written and practical exam. I teach kitsuke in my university, just the basics, but one of the most fun things I do, as a little part time job, is to dress people. I have dressed all kinds of ages, nationalities and shapes of people, and it is fantastic because we always have such fun, and they love being turned into a prince or princess and wearing all that silk. Mainly I dress non-Japanese, but occasionally Japanese people also ask me to dress them. I dress visitors to Japan, families, children for shichi, go, san, and high school girls for graduation, and also twenty year olds, for seijin shiki, (coming of age) in Japan. It is always a challenge because often I dress people who are taller or larger than Japanese, and I want to make them all look great. I help them to choose all the separate parts of the outfit and then we also have fun choosing interesting locations for the photographs. I usually lend them the kimono set and also take photographs and put them on a CD. It is fun to get to know people this way, and I think it is a privilege to be able to dress them and give them these CDs.

5 comments:

  1. It is wonderful to see you back. Good luck on your PhD. I found it facinating that when you went to the kitsuke school you didn't know much Japanese so you learned kitsuke and the language at the same time. My impression was that you would need to understand the language so you could understand what was being said in class. I have been wearing kimono for 8 years now and I had to teach myself and with doing my own research online to find out exactly what was needed. For the last several years now I have wanted to go to Japan to a kitsuke school so I could be a professional dresser and teacher. I always thought that it wasn't possible because I only know a little of the Japanese language. This gives me hope that when I do make it to Japan, I too can take classes. Thank you very much.

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  2. I have also tried to find your facebook account and have not had any luck on finding you. If you could provide your facebook page name I would much appreciate it. I would like to keep up on all you kimono postings.

    Thank you very much.

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  3. ^ ^ I hope to be as good as you when I have my panel! I would love to be able to make a living with my hobby.

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  4. It must be fun teaching and dressing people in kimono. I doubt I will ever be able to attend kitsuke school (unless they open one in UK) but I would like to attend convention in UK and dress people to show them the wonders of kimono.

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  5. Michelle, my facebook page is just called kimono. It has a profile picture of two girls in furisode, jumping. I am kimono. If you put kimono into search it will be one of the top pages to come up. good luck with your kitsuke!

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