Kikuko (Tokyo)



Kikuko grew up in the Shinjuku area as her grandfather worked for a very big printing company and her family all lived together. She remembers that her grandmother always wore kimono, her mother wore it on special occasions and they dressed her in yukata for matsuri in the summer and in kimono for going to do new years’ greetings, so her memories have kimono in them. Her grandmother’s tansu was made of kusunoki, in Kyushu, and she brought it to Tokyo upon her marriage. Kikuko still has it upstairs. After graduation from university she went abroad quite a lot, as she worked as a translator. She was interested in Austrian folk dance, and she wore Austrian costume when she practiced, but she thought that it was funny that she could wear Austrian dress but not kimono. She thought the kimono was really beautiful, but at that time everyone was interested in foreign culture and in going abroad. She was too busy in those days, with work, to learn how to wear kimono. Her mother had a family friend nearby who was a kimono dyer from the Aizu area of Fukushima, which was one of the most important silk producing areas in Japan. She made kimono for her mother and her with very high quality silk from Fukushima. She also gave them a lot of advice about kimono.

Now Kikuko has retired from her full time job and works part time. She has time to wear kimono. Three years ago she started to learn kitsuke because her mother and grandmother passed away and she wanted to use the kimono that had been left to her. She feels it as doing something to please her ancestors. Now she also has grandchildren, so she is enjoying the different generations using the kimono. The kimono she wore for the interview was her great grandmother’s kimono, so four generations of her family have worn it.

Kikuko keeps her good formal kimono in the kusunoki tansu from her grandmother, which is upstairs. She also has a draw upstairs for non-seasonal items. It has yukata and summer komon in it. Downstairs she has a draw for kimono that she is using in this season. It contains tsumugi and komon. In total she has 23 kimono, mostly komon and tsumugi, but one bridal furisode, a few homongi, mourning wear and children’s wear. The majority of kimono are inherited from her family.



現在、喜久子さんは仕事を引退しパート勤務になり、やっと着物を着る時間ができました。お祖母さまもお母さまもいなくなった今、着物が喜久子さんのところに回ってきました。残して頂いた着物を着るため、3年前に着物の着方を習い始めました。 家族の着物を着ることで親孝行になれば、お祖母さまとお母さまを喜ばすことができれば、と考えています。今は孫もいますので、新しい時代の子供たちの着物姿を見るのも楽しみです。インタビュー時に着た着物はひいおばあさまの物なので、喜久子さんで4代目です。


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