Are you getting tired of kimono pictures? Ok. This will be the last for awhile. There were a couple of questions I thought I'd answer here.
Tracey in ct asked about what Leiya was holding besides the handbag. (Takumi was holding one in his picture too). That is a paper bag that has a long piece of white candy in it called Chitoseame which translates as "thousand year candy". I think it is supposed to symbolize long life and health and there is a drawing of a turtle and a crane on it. Takumi is also holding a fan (Leiya has one tucked in the obi) and I think someone told me that this represents a sword!
Tonya asked about damaged kimonos and what happens to them. I have no idea but traditionally women's old and damaged kimonos were remade into children's kimonos. I know that I can occasionally find scraps of kimono fabric being sold in kimono shops, left overs from making a kimono, but remember there is very little cutting involved when sewing a kimono so not many scraps result. At any rate, they are usually silk and even the scraps are very dear and expensive. I've never bought any since I've never worked in silk.
I have bought old kimonos at recycle shops but there is a wide price range even there. Occasionally I have found some for less than $15 and bought a couple but usually they run quite a bit more and here again, I don't know what to do with them after I have them.
Did you know that kimonos are taken completely apart for cleaning? I'm sure nowadays you can have some kimonos dry cleaned but I think people fear that the kimonos will be damaged and instead go the traditional way of taking out all the stitches, removing lining etc., professionally having it washed (I don't know how) and then having the whole kimono re-sewn by hand again. (Heaven forbid that a sewing machine would be used on a kimono!) You can see why a kimono is expensive and you certainly don't want to spill something on it. Maybe another reason why gentile Japanese ladies move with such small, delicate grace especially when wearing a kimono!
Quiltingfitzy commented that Leiya looked so serious in her formal picture. And the earlier pictures when the kids were 3 and 5, no smiles whatsoever! This is true in all formal picture taking (weddings too!), nobody smiles! Quiltingfitzy also asked about the family picture and I decided to go ahead and post it even though Tetsu and I are gray haired nowadays, and none of us look anything like we did over 10 years ago. Ah well. You will notice we are SMILING!