Chikako (Tokyo)


PROFILE プロフィール
Chikako is in the 55-65 age group. She comes from Sendai and moved to Tokyo on her marriage. She has lived half her life in Sendai, and half in Tokyo. She does not work now, but she has experience of working in a wedding and event business doing kimono dressing. She enjoys Japanese dance as well as wearing kimono, which she started to do in her 20s.
Chikako’s mother only wore kimono on special occasions, but she did a little kimono sewing and also did a little business of selling kimono, so there were always kimono around the house. When Chikako was in her mid 20s, her mother became interested in wearing kimono. So her mother and mother’s friends began going to a teacher’s house and learning dressing and having tea together there. Then the daughters, including Chikako also formed a group to go and learn dressing. There came to be a mother team and daughter team of about 5 or 6 friends. Chikako wasn’t so interested in the kimono itself, she was just interested in mastering the process. However, she continued with it, and went ahead and took her dresser’s license. Then she joined a team of advanced learners and they began to do more advanced study, and the teacher also began to teach them Japanese dance. She used her kimono license when she got married and came to Tokyo. She had some jobs dressing girls for coming of age, and also for Hanayome (bridal) magazine. She said that she had to learn on the job and it really improved her dressing skills. Now she wears kimono about 3 times a week and she has made a small kimono club, where members meet to talk and eat sweets and drink tea together in a local hall. She is interested in spreading kimono knowledge with her club and by planning small kimono fashion shows.
Her mother-in-law gave her kimono in the complete kimono chest, 20 years ago, but Chikako had not used them. She opened it once, last year, when her mother-in-law passed away, and she wanted to find one to bury her in. Apart from that she has not touched the chest, and it still contains her mother-in-law’s and her mother-in-law’s daughter’s kimono. Her daughter liked kimono and had a lot. Her collection consists of 96 kimono, of a great variety of types. A third are dyed kimono: homongi, tsukesage, and komon, a quarter are polyester, and she has around ten tsumugi and ten summer kimono. She also has some unusual items, such as kimono cut for dancing men’s roles, furisode, and uchikake.

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