Yukiko (Saitama)

YUKIKO’S PROFILE プロフィール

Yukiko belongs 35-44 year old age group, and was born and grew up in Tokyo and she lives in Saitama now. Her grandmother was a hairdresser, so she dressed in kimono and made up her hair for Yukiko for the 7,5,3 celebration when she was 7 years old. She was happy but it was a little hard to wear kimono, she thought. Yukiko found that kimono was beautiful for the first time when she was in elementary school. She found the pictures of ju-ni hitoe in the picture book of the story “Kaguya hime” which was given from her father. When she was 12 years old, she read “Genji monogatari” or “Taketori monogatari”, but her most of all her interest was in the pictures of ju-ni hitoe or kimono in the books, and not in the stories. During her junior high school days, she adored and imagined Maiko in Kyoto who live in beautiful kimono everyday. When she became a high school student, she told her parents that she wanted to be a Maiko in Kyoto, but they were against it. Yukiko also asked them if she could go to a university in Kyoto (where Maiko are) to study history, but they were against that idea, too. Yukiko understood that they did not want to live separately from her, when she was so young. She worked as a part-time worker at the Kabuki theater when she was a university student. There she had chances to see the marvelous kimono costumes of kabuki plays. She thought she had finally found what she want to do at that time. After graduating university, she went to kimono tailoring school to get a job making Kabuki kimono costumes, because most of work was kimono sewing there. But after for a while she noticed that she was not good at keeping sitting still for a long time while sewing. She gave up this idea, and got a different job.

Yukiko’s mother did not have special interest in kimono but she started to learn kimono dressing to dress a Yukiko in a furisode for her coming-of-age ceremony. Also she dressed Yukiko in kimono when she demonstrated on the shamisen instrument or when she was going out. In Yukiko’s early 30’s, her mother passed away from cancer. Many kimono were left to Yukiko. A year later, she was introduced to a geisha. She started working helping the geisha. At the same time she re-started the kimono tailoring. She also started to learn the special techniques of kimono dressing for geisha and now she works as a professional kimono dresser for geisha.

She has 30 kimono in her own collection. About 80% of them are casual kimono like komon or tsumugi. About 90% of her collection were given from her mother and acquaintances. She also has three storage cases of kimono such as homongi or furisode, which are not often worn, at her parents place. She wears kimono once in two months to go out. She could not get a job in the Kabuki theater but her husband is working there, so she can feel close to Kabuki theater.

有希子さん、35-44歳の年齢のグループ、東京で生まれ育ち、現在は埼玉県にお住まいです。幼い頃はお御輿をかつぐのが楽しみなご両親と一緒にはっぴを着てお祭りに行きました。七五三の七歳のお祝いでは美容師だったお祖母様に髪を結ってもらい、祝い着を着せてもらいました。嬉しくも少し苦しかった事を覚えています。初めて着物を素敵だと思ったのは小学生の頃でした。お父さまのおみやげの本「かぐや姫」の十二単衣を見た事がきっかけでした。12歳の頃には、物語よりも挿絵の十二単衣を見るのが楽しみで「源氏物語」や「竹取物語」を読んでいました。中学生の頃、舞妓さんに憧れ、綺麗な着物で毎日過ごす舞妓さんの生活に思いを馳せました。高校1年生の時、舞妓になりたいとご両親に相談しましたが全く相手にしてもらえませんでした。舞妓さんの近くにいたい、古い都で歴史の勉強をしたい、と京都の大学を希望しましたが、これも許してもらえませんでした。若いうちから親元を離れてしまうのをご両親は望まなかったと有希子さんは理解しています。大学生になり、歌舞伎座でアルバイトをしていたとき、歌舞伎の衣装を見る機会がありました。有希子さんは自分が求めていた物はこれだ、と思いました。大学卒業後に歌舞伎の衣装の仕事をしたいと考え、和裁の専門学校に入りました。歌舞伎の衣装の仕事は和裁が必須のためです。しかし、ほどなくして、ずっと座って仕事をする和裁には向いていない事が分かり、歌舞伎の衣装の仕事はあきらめ別の仕事に就きました。

有希子さんのお母さまは着物に特別な興味はなかったそうですが、有希子さんの成人式に振袖を着せるため着付けの勉強を始めました。その後は成人式の振袖だけでなく有希子さんが歌舞伎を観劇に行くときや三味線の発表会で着物を着る時に着せてくれました。有希子さんが30代になった頃、お母さまが癌で亡くなり、多くの着物が有希子さんの元に残されました。

その頃、三味線の先生から一人の芸者さんを紹介されました。忙しい芸者さんの身の回りのお手伝いを始めるとともに、和裁の勉強を再開しました。また、芸者さんの着付けも学び、現在は芸者さんの着付け師として独り立ちしています。

お手持ちの着物は30枚。そのうちの8割が小紋や紬などの普段着です。また全体の9割がお母さまやお知り合いから譲られた着物で、有希子さんがご自分で仕立てたものも2枚あります。またご実家にもプラスチックケース3箱分くらいの着物があり、普段着ない振袖や訪問着を保管しています。

着物を着るのは2ヵ月に1回くらいで、食事やお芝居を観に行くときに着ます。有希子さんは歌舞伎の仕事には就きませんでしたが、ご主人が歌舞伎座でお仕事をされているので歌舞伎は今も身近に感じることができます。

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