Tomoko – Influences

TOMOKO’S INFLUENCES影響
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.


月に1~2度、着物の学校に通っています。最初の頃は介護の息抜きのために行っていました。美しい着物を見ることが良い息抜きになり、また先生がおきれいで、美しく年齢を重ねる見本でした。その頃の職場は男性ばかりでしたので、着物の学校では主婦の方など女性との会話が新鮮で楽しく、母が亡くなった今も通い続けています。生徒さんは15~16名いて、若い方から年配の方まで年齢も幅広く、色々な方から着こなしや色の組み合わせなど新鮮な影響を受けています。
母は絵が好きで、趣味で絵を描いていました。日本画も描いていました。着物の先生がご近所にお住まいだったご縁で着物を着るようになり、30代後半になると着物の柄を自分で描くようになりました。着物をそんなに頻繁に着る人ではなかったので、着物という形で絵の作品を残したかったのでは、と思います。母は私達の洋服も手作りしてくれました。その延長で着物も手作りしてあげたいと考えたのかもしれません。家には着物を染めたり蒸したりする道具がたくさんありました。よく着物の生地や染めの工程の話をしてくれたので自然と着物を作る工程の知識が身につきました。後年、病気になって元気が無くなったときも着物の話をすると目が輝いていました。
母の手描きの着物は着ると絵に立体感があります。他の着物を着た方と並んで写真を撮るとそれが良くわかります。普通の着物は着る人を美しく見せるよう作られていると思いますが、母の着物は着物が主張するようにつくられていて、これは母のアートであり、母を表現する方法だったのだな、と思います。

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