Mitsuyo (Tokyo)

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PROFILE プロフィール

Mitsuyo is a freelance editor, now single and living with her grown up son. Belongs 55-64 years old age group. When she was growing up, her grandmother always wore kimono. She also sewed and mended them. When Mitsuyo was in elementary school, her mother made her learn lots of typical things. She learned piano, abacus and calligraphy. She hated these lessons and was soon allowed to give up the piano, but had to continue with the others, and says she still has trauma from the abacus lessons. She thinks its ironic that she likes calligraphy now. Her older sister was learning Japanese dance and she thought it looked fun, and so when she was ten she started, finally something that she had chosen to do.

She wasn’t really close to her grandmother, but her grandmother occasionally sewed her wool kimono for the dance class. When her grandmother’s eyesight was starting to go, she would measure out long pieces of thread and then ask Mitsuyo to thread needles for her. She would have to sit and thread about eighteen needles at once, and thought it was a really tiresome process.

Now Mitsuyo works from home and lives in jeans and a T-shirt. If she goes to a party then she wears kimono because it is easy. If you wear western clothes you have to worry about if it is the right style or smart enough. She always wears kimono at New Year, even if she is only going to the first visit to the shrine. If she doesn’t, she feels like she hasn’t done New Year properly. Mitsuyo’s collection comprises 26 kimono, over half of which were tailored for her trousseau or by herself at a later date. She has very few used kimono or ready made ones, but she has 4 yukata, who of which are from her dancing days. A few kimono are from her older sister and one from her grandmother. Stylish komon are the core of her collection.

光代さんは編集の仕事をしています。55~64歳の年齢のグループ、独身、成人した息子さんと同居しています。光代さんのおばあさまはいつも着物で過ごしていて、ときどき着物を縫ったり、直したりしていました。小学生のとき、お母さまの意向で、ピアノとそろばん、習字の習い事を始めました。光代さんはこの習い事が好きではなく、ピアノはやめることができましたが、そろばんと習字は続けなければいけませんでした。今でもそろばんにたいしてトラウマを感じています。書道は今では好きになりました。お姉さまは日本舞踊を習っていて楽しそうでした。光代さんも日本舞踊を10歳から18歳まで習いました。そのころは、週に1度、おばあさまが縫ってくれたウールの着物を着ていました。

徐々におばあさまの目が悪くなっていったころ、光代さんがおばあさまの代わりに針に糸を通してあげていました。一度に18本ほどの針に、長い糸を通しておいてあげるのですが面倒な作業でした。光代さんは自宅での仕事が中心なのでデニムパンツとTシャツで生活していますが、パーテイなどに行く時は着物を着ます。洋服はその場にふさわしいか考えたりしなくてはなりませんが、光代さんにとっては、着物は考えなくても良いので楽です。子供の頃はお正月の三が日は家族全員で着物を着ました。今でもお正月には、初詣でに行くだけでも必ず着物を着ます。着ないとお正月をちゃんと迎えた気がしないからです。

光代さんの所有する着物は浴衣4枚を含めて26枚。ほとんどはお嫁入りの時に持ってきた物と自分で注文して仕立てた物です。小紋が多く、他にユーズドの着物が少しとお姉さまから譲られた着物もあります。

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