Tomoko – Influences

I go to the kimono school once or twice a month. At first, I went there to have my own time and space while caring for my mother. Seeing beautiful kimono made me feel fresh; the teachers were beautiful and looking like them came be my goal as I aged. I was surrounded by men at my work place at that time, so it was interesting for me to have communication with women like the housewives there. I keep on going to the school even now, after my mother passed away. There are 15~16 students of all ages in my class. I am influenced by their ideas, like how to use color combinations or different styles.
My mother liked painting. She also did Japanese style painting sometimes. She started to paint her and her family’s kimono in her 30’s after she became to be able to wear kimono. She did not wear kimono often. She might have wanted to leave her works on kimono, not on the canvases, I think. She made her daughters’ clothes by herself when we were children, so she might have wanted to do the same thing on the kimono, too. There were many dyeing tools and a steaming machine in our house. She often told me about the fabric for kimono and processes involved in making kimono. So I learnt about them naturally. Years later, when I talked to her about kimono when she got depressed during her illness, a smile would appear on her face. My kimono painted by mother looks three-dimensional. I realized this from seeing a picture I was in, with other women who wore kimono together. The kimono painted by her insist on their own existence, they are not simply ornaments to make women beautiful, like usual kimono are. These were her art, and these were the way she expressed herself, I think.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s