Tuesday, December 5, 2017

All About Kimono

Marlena Madden

When people see kimono, they often immediately think about Japan. Kimono are probably one of the most recognizable piece of clothing from Japanese culture. They have a long history, but are now pretty much only worn for special events or festivals.

While I stay with a host family, there are no children in my homestay family. But, some of my friends in JSP Program at TIU have went to Shichi-go-san ceremonies with their host families. The ceremony is for when children turn 7, 5, or 3. Usually during the fall, the children dress in formal kimono and go to the local shrine to celebrate. The whole family tends to dress up for the occasion as well to take pictures. There are also many other events were people wear kimono including festivals, weddings, and celebrations when people turn 20.

Because I live near Koedo in Kawagoe, a popular tourist destination because of the old-fashioned buildings, I often see many young women who dress in Kimono and walk through the streets taking pictures. I also got to do this experience along with my fellow JSP students as a field trip. Because kimono are very expensive and difficult to wear, we went to a rental shop. There we got to choose our kimono before being quickly dressed by the women who work in the shop. It seems impossible to be able to put on a kimono by yourself, but I've heard that there are people who can do it. I've also heard from other JSP students, that some of their host families even go to special classes wear they learn more information about kimono.

Altogether, it was a fun experience to dress up and walk around shopping in the streets of Koedo!