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.




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