Atsuko’s Influences

I remember that my grandmother always used to wear kimono. It was very casual, with a half-width obi in kai no kuchi. She’d put on a kimono apron and take a basket to go shopping. I thought she was very cool. I wanted to wear kimono like that. My mother could dress herself in kimono, but only knew how to tie a bunko ribbon obi, so she would always tie it and then hide it under a haori jacket. I remember my mother and my aunt used to lend each other tomesode, and share things, and we all wore kimono at New Year. But gradually, as I grew up, we all stopped wearing it. Perhaps it was when my grandmother died. I also admire the essayist, Shirasu Masako. She grew up with western things, in a wealthy cultured family, and she disliked the kimono she saw her mother sometimes wearing on formal occasions. When she was an adult, she discovered the Japan folkcraft movement and she began to like simple Japanese things, including tsumugi and simply stencilled kimono. She wore it daily, and it looked great on her. I’d like to wear it like her. I haven’t really explored my mother’s kimono, but I think they look a bit old fashioned.

祖母はいつも着物でした。半幅帯を貝の口に締めて、本当に普段着として着ていました。割烹着を着てカゴを持って買い物に行く姿はとても素敵で、私もあんな風に着物を着たいと思っていました。

母は自分で着物を着ましたが、文庫結びしかできなかったので、いつも羽織で隠していました。母と叔母はよく留袖などを貸し借りしていました。お正月にはいつも皆で着物を着ていましたが、だんだん大きくなるにつれて着なくなりました。おそらく祖母が亡くなった頃からだと思います。

また、白洲正子が好きです。彼女も若い頃は着物に興味がありませんでしたが大人になって日本の民芸が好きになり、普段着の着物を着こなしました。私も彼女のように着たいと思います。母から譲られた着物はあまりよく見ていないのですが、少し古臭い感じがします。

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