Mieko (Tokyo)

Mieko was raised in Shizuoka in a ryokan with a fancy Japanese restaurant. There were geisha and kimono around her all the time. There was a small stage for performances, and she remembers these. She remembers that the kimono dealer would often come to the house and lay out all the roles of cloth on the floor and they would choose cloth to make kimono. This was totally natural for her. When she was a young adult she came to Tokyo. She took lots of licences so that she could work after graduation, but she didn’t work. She got married to her husband because he was kind and gentle. She wore kimono for tea ceremony, flower arranging, ballroom dancing and going to the theatre. In the war the family kimono were lost or burnt. The few remaining ones from her mother were small, so she has had them turned into haori, nagajuban, obi or framed pictures for the wall. These items represent her mother and grandmother, and look after her. When she was 50, she made her own company as a scrivener to pay for buying kimono. However, she got sick and after that she didn’t wear them herself, she started to buy them with her daughter in mind. She was friends with a well-known antique kimono collector, and also had a friend who was very good at kimono tailoring, so she would buy a lot of bright kimono for her daughter. She loves bright and colourful things. Now her daughter is middle-aged, she feels they are too bright for her. Mieko has a total of 176 kimono, and the majority are houmongi, tsukesage, iromuji and komon.






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