Mika (Tokyo)

Mika belongs 25-34 years old age group, and was born and grew up in Tokyo.

Her kimono memories are 7,5,3 and wearing yukata for summer festivals. From when she was in junior high school, she was interested in Japanese items. She walked around at junior high school with a folding fan in her chest pocket. She studied art and fashion in high school and university. She took a class of Japanese traditional dance in high school days, and it was the first time she wore a kimono. She studied fabric dyeing at her university. She started to have strong interest in kimono so she dyed kimono sometimes in her classes. She is working as a manager at a wedding kimono rental service now. When she introduces and suggests wearing an uchikake wedding gown to a bride, she can do it well because she likes kimono and has a good knowledge of kimono making. She thinks her job is her vocation since she hopes that the bride come to like kimono through her good memories of her wedding and will then wear kimono in her later life.

Mika learned tea ceremony and ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) when she was in university. She has continued studying ikebana and got a license as an ikebana teacher. She has started to teach it. She wears kimono once or twice a month, on the occasions like dinners, wedding ceremonies or ikebana events. She also wears kimono every year when she goes to watch the recital of dances by geisha. She is longing for the style of geisha women. Once she was invited to become a geisha by a genuine working geisha. She was happy and asked about it to her family members, but all of them opposed the idea, so she gave it up.

She feels that there is a Japanese sense in kabuki costume kimono which have very strong color contrasts, much more than everyday kimono. She watched kabuki when she was17 years old for the first time. She owns 26 kimono. Half of them came from her family, and the other half were purchased from kimono shops. A third of her collection is formal kimono. Five kimono are designed and dyed by herself.

美佳さん、25-34歳の年齢のグループ、東京で生まれ育ちました。子供の頃の着物の思い出は七五三と夏祭りの浴衣です。中学生の頃から、気がつくと和のものに気が向いていました。制服のポケットに扇子を入れて歩く中学生でした。高校と大学は美術や服飾を学べる学校に進みました。高校時代に学校の授業で日舞の時間があり、その頃から着物を着るようになりました。大学では染色を学びました。授業で着物を何度か染めたことがきっかけで、着物に強く関心を持つようになりました。現在は婚礼衣装のレンタルの会社でマネージャーをされています。花嫁さんに打ち掛けの提案をするとき、美佳さん自身が着物が好きなことと、染色の知識があることで、説得力のある提案ができ、納得してもらえます。花嫁さん達に着物が良いものとして記憶に残り、新しい生活に少しでも着物を取り入れてもらえたらと考えているので、天職だと思っています。大学生のときお茶とお華を学びました。お花は卒業後も続け、昨年看板をもらい、教える仕事も少しずつ始めています。

着物を着る機会は月に1~2回。食事会や結婚式、生け花の発表会などに着ます。毎年、芸者さんの踊りの発表会を必ず観に行きますが、そのときは必ず着物を着ます。芸者さんの着こなしにも憧れています。一度現役の芸者さんに、芸者にならないか誘われた事があります。大喜びで家族に相談したら全員から反対されて残念ながらあきらめた事があります。

普段着の着物より歌舞伎の衣装の強い色の対比や配色に、日本の文化を感じます。歌舞伎は高校2年生の時初めて観ました。

お手持ちの着物は26枚。購入した物と家族から譲られた物が半々ぐらい、全体の3分の1はフォーマル着物です。美佳さんご自身が学生時代にデザインして染めた着物が5枚あります。

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