Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Old kimono continued

I said I was going to show you some of the kimonos I brought back from Tetsu's mother and while I was looking at them I realized there were a couple that I even had pictures of! So... I don't know if you are interested in old pictures but here are a couple.

This little dot is actually the Watanabe family crest mark and it is embroidered on formal black kimonos on the front shoulders and on the very center of the back just at the edge of the collar. Every family will have a crest and some of the older houses will have it displayed somewhere and it will always be on the gravestone. Can you see how absolutely tiny these stitches are? It makes for a very striking mark against the black silk. Actually I'm not sure what it represents as I can't find a connotation between our family name and the mark, but some crests will obviously be of a pine branch if the family name has to do with trees etc. I'll see if I can find out more about family crests.


And I'm pretty sure this picture taken on my wedding day of Tetsu's mother and myself (28 years ago!) is of the kimono that is sitting in this box with the family crest mark.


Here is a picture of a haori that is worn over kimono (and I'm going to leave it in this form and see if Leiya wants to use it. I like to wear haori over jeans and a turtleneck sweater). And look. I think that it is the same haori that Obaachan was wearing in this picture taken with Tetsu's father. No date on this picture and I never met Tetsu's father so I'm thinking Obaachan must have been in her 40's at the time. She is 84 now. When I first met Tetsu's mother she never wore anything but kimono. She said Tetsu's father felt strongly that a woman should not be in western dress, so all the years that he was alive she never wore anything but the traditional outfit. After he died she lost interest in keeping herself looking so proper and once she started wearing slacks she realized how easy western dress made it to move around, so the kimonos were relegated to the box.

And here is the most recent picture of Obaachan taken during New Year's with Tetsu.


Thank you for wandering through the past with me.

9 comments:

Elaine Adair said...

What a dear sweet story about kimono and your Mom-in-law giving them to you. She must have great faith and confidence in you.

Thanks for this lovely post.

Fran├žoise said...

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

atet said...

Oh what great memories. And those stitches are AMAZING!

anne bebbington said...

Fascinating - I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for Tetsu's mother having to get dressed up like that every day

Carla said...

Your descriptions of Japanese culture and your life in Japan are so interesting! It's like reading chapters of a book. Thank you so much.

The Calico Cat said...

I like to wear haori over jeans and a turtleneck sweater

That sounds like a great idea. I hope your daughter embraces the same style - east meets west.

CONNIE W said...

Another lovely post. I love the photo of you in the wedding gown. You are still as beautiful as you were then!

harts4Him said...

Thanks for sharing memory lane! You are a beautiful bride as you still are today

Patti said...

You were such a strikingly beautiful bride! I am enjoying reading this history of the kimonos so very much.