Things I learned from a kimono.

Hello and welcome to the Plum and Blossom. As much as our site name sounds so much like a teahouse, let me assure that it is not. Blossom covered the founding of our site pretty well, so I’ll skip over that. I’ll head right to the introductions. I’m the Plum of the pair, for as much as that lends itself to so many jokes. Unlike Blossom, who treats words like gentle brush strokes on a canvas, I tend to slap them together, knock a few nails in and hope it looks like the picture on the cover of my brain. She’s the far more prolific and poetic of the pair of us and there really are times when it shows. (Like now ^^)

Blossom and I started this little escapade out of boredom and the need for escapism. Both being admirers of Japanese culture (the ancient one, not so much the ‘dye-your-hair-neon-pink-and-dress-like-a-doll’ one), we have finally found our way to the calcified culture as demonstrated through their clothing. We rented a costume for Natsu Matsuri and I think that just opened the floodgates to a dormant love affair for clothes that are really none too practical for our climate.

That being said, there is much insight to gain through simply experiencing the clothes of another culture. I’m eurasian and pretty deprived on the culture front. Thus, it was nice to experience an ‘official’ ethnic experience and learn much from it.

Kimono lesson #1: There is a reason why Japanese women are thin and the food is raw.

It takes a long time to put on these things (largely because we don’t have the luxury of a servant to dress us, unless we count eachother), so there probably wasn’t enough time to cook. Also, our bodies were the sort that got worshiped as prime models of fertility in ancient cultures – what with the child-bearing hips and breasts and all – and as such, the willowy shape the kimono requires needs some creative padding.

Kimono lesson #2: Our postures are terrible but our bladder control is impeccable.

The obi is the greatest spine straightener ever, if tied properly. And since we weren’t about to even try to pee while in kimono, our years of training to obtain the iron bladder have paid off.

Kimono lesson #3: Obis are a creative endeavour.

The part that I love, and that Blossom hates – the obi. Tieing it is, to me, a creative endeavour and something I enjoy doing. She was born to be a rich girl who presumably will have someone paid to dress her, so everything works out in the end.

We both love different things about the kimono – she the prints and I the obi and coordination. As we slowly build up our collection of things to wear and excuses to wear them, we’ll be bringing you along for the ride as the Gaijins Go Native.

~Plum

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