Kumiko (Tokyo)

Kumiko is in the 45-54 year age group. She was born and brought up in Tokyo, is single, and runs a small café and gallery. Kumiko remembers that her mother wore kimono on special occasions, such as New Year or her school graduation ceremonies. She herself had one made when she was 7 for 7,5,3, but for her coming of age she wore one that was in the family. Her mother had five older sisters and one of them ran a Japanese inn and had many kimono. She remembers that there were many dyers near the place where her mother came from, and she can remember seeing all the dyeing hanging up. She learnt to wear kimono from her aunts, and she used to wear it at New Year and on special occasions when she was in her early thirties. She was working in a shop selling pottery at that time. She likes old things and old cloth and she used to like to make collars, han eri from tenugui towels. However, her mother became ill when Kumiko was in her thirties, and she spent ten years looking after her. She did not wear kimono at that time. She feels that if her mother had not been ill, this would have been the period of her life when she would have gone out wearing kimono with friends. Kumiko’s café is ten years old, but her gallery is newer. She gutted and cleaned out the old building next to her café, to make the gallery a few years ago, after her mother passed away. At that time she decided to downsize and move into the room above the gallery. She got rid of almost all of her possessions, but she kept a small buddhist altar for her parents and brother, who have all passed away, and her mother’s kimono chest. She has 27 kimono. Almost all of them are from her family, and they are mainly komon, omeshi and tsumugi.

久美子さん、45−54歳のグループ、東京で生まれ育ちました。小さなカフェと画廊の経営をしています。

久美子さんのお母さまはお正月や卒業式など晴れの日に着物を着ていました。久美子さんが7歳のときの七五三の着物はご家族が作ってくれました。成人式には親戚の着物を着てお祝いをしました。久美子さんのお母さまには5人のお姉さまがいて、そのうちのお一人が旅館の女将さんをされていたため、着物を沢山持っていました。

お母さまのご実家の周辺には染め屋がたくさんありました。反物があちこちに干してあったのを覚えています。久美子さんはおばさま達から着物の着方を習い、30代の初めの頃はお正月と晴れの日には自分で着物を着ていました。その頃は焼き物のお店に勤めていましたが、古いものが好きで、特に布が好きでした。手ぬぐいで半襟もよく作っていました。

その頃からお母さまの闘病生活が始まり、久美子さんは10年の介護の間、着物を着る時間がありませんでした。久美子さんは、この10年間、もしお母さまがお元気だったら、おそらくお友達と着物を着て遊びに出かけていただろうと思っています。

久美子さんのカフェはオープンしてから10年になりました。数年前にお母さまが亡くなった後、カフェの隣の建物が空き家になりました。久美子さんがその建物をリフォームをし、画廊を開いたのが2~3年前のことです。その時、ご両親とお兄様のお仏壇とお母さまの着物箪笥を残し、ご自分の持ち物を整理して画廊の上の階に住むことを決めました。久美子さんのお手持ちの着物は27枚。ほとんどがご親戚やお母さまからのもので、小紋とお召と紬が大半を占めます。

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s