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.






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