Mayo (Kanagawa)

Mayo was born and brought up in Saitama, moved to Tokyo when she was 41 and now lives in Kanagawa. When she was a child she wore kimono for shichi, go, san and she wore it most years, at New Year. She wore it for the first visit to the shrine. Her mother was a housewife, and she didn’t have much chance to wear kimono, so she doesn’t remember her wearing them, but she knows that she really liked them. She would enjoy looking at them and saved up to buy special ones. Her mother loved tsumugi, especially oshima tsumugi. So she saved up and bought one that was the same as the one that a famous actress wore. She would tell Mayo that this kimono is the same as the one worn by that actress. Her mother was in her teens during the war, so all her kimono are from after that time. Mayo is her only daughter, so she inherited her kimono. She kept some and then gave some to her two sisters in law. (Her brothers’ wives).

She had a kimono made for her for coming of age. It was black, and she chose it herself. It was ordered from a dyer in Kyoto. She doesn’t know what happened to it, or where it is now. She thinks as an adult that she started wearing it at about 40. Before that she was busy bringing up her daughters. She learnt from my mother, but not formally. She would ring her up and ask her advice. She started enjoying wearing yukata to festivals. She says that after a certain age, you feel you want to wear kimono. She thinks it used to be more stylish. In the Taisho period all the men wore hats and the kimono were colourful and modern looking. There were modern girls and it was a very stylish period.

Mayo says one of the attractions of wearing kimono is that people treat you nicely. They are kind and they talk to you. Men like it, too. It is attractive dress. She is not wearing it much now, but would like to wear it to the Grey Hair group meeting. Her collection is 22 kimono, which are mainly tsumugi, komon and yukata.





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