I didn’t win at the regional competition, but kimono have called me back. After all, my skills only lie in dressing myself in a furisode with a biyou-sugata in eight minutes. It’s a nifty skill, but not terribly practical.

While Kimono-sensei really wants to have me participate again this fall in Hiroshima (donning a Japanese hairstyle and furisode again, of course), I’m taking a couple months to learn some casual styles I’d like to be able to do on my own. Seeing as I was never even very good at origami I don’t have a natural talent for this, but I’m doing my best and so far am enjoying it. Unlike practicing for a contest where I need to perform in a hurry, I can take my time with these styles–and I certainly do take my time. I managed to do the basic o-taiko (drum shaped) obi on my own on the weekend, but it took me a couple hours from start to finish. Sigh; I still have a ways to go.

Time though it does take, I still am constantly reminded why I was always attracted to kimono, and I am always finding new ways to appreciate their intricacies. For example, the little way I got my obi wrong with the seam at the top not lining up–that’s not appropriate for me, but apparently that’s a high-class geisha move. Also, the way to fold the obi-age before tying it–it wasn’t simply method, but it had a functional purpose to fold in the extra ends of the obi-age after tying it.

As I keep unraveling the world of kimono, I’m sure I’ll discover plenty more–though for now I’d just be happy if I can dress myself correctly. There is more to learn than just how to put it on, though…