New Kimono Debut 新しい着物デビュー

I wrote a while ago in a post that Somemaru presented me with a kimono. For the last couple months it has been nicely folded, stored in my closet. Today I finally had a chance to wear it.

Two weeks ago a friend of Somemaru’s family invited me to take part in tea ceremony, which I had never done. It was an amazing experience. Since I knew nothing about this art, it felt like I was new to Japan all over again (Japanese proverb: Never forget your beginner’s heart). The teacher was kind to invite me back today, so I decided to go in kimono.

I know the basics of dressing in Japanese clothes, so putting on the kimono was the easy part. I guess what I wasn’t ready for was all the attention I would get once I stepped outside, as I walked through the train stations, rode the trains… I was proud to be wearing this gift from Somemaru, but one thing was out of place–me. Of the hundreds and hundred of Japanese people I passed, I think I saw one or two other people in kimono. I have worn kimono and yukata in public before, but never alone.

I was relieved when I arrived at tea ceremony, where I seemed to fit right it. I received all kinds of compliments on my kimono, and on how kind Somemaru was to buy such a nice gift for me. Receiving so many positive comments from those around me was quite boosting, making me realize that the countless people who looked at me with smiles at stations and on trains must have been thinking nice things too.

On my way home I held my head a little higher, proud to me the only person around in kimono.

Thank you for such a wonderful gift Shishô!



着付けの基本は何とか分かるので、着物を着るのはスムーズにいきました。難しかったのはその後でした。部屋より一歩出て、駅まで歩いているとき、電車に乗っているとき… ずっと周りの人々の視線を感じました。染丸師匠のプレゼント、もちろん誇りを持って着ていったのですが、やっぱり、街中では着物姿の外国人は何かちょっと不自然に映ったようでした。通りすがりの日本人何百人のうち、一、二人くらいしか着物を着ていなかったです。前にも公共の場で着物・浴衣を着る機会はありましたが、一人で着物を着て回った経験は一回もありませんでしたので、周りからの視線に少しびっくりしてしまいました。





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