Friday, August 27, 2010

Yamatoku Uchikake Sale

Online dealer Yamatoku has announced a "color uchikake" festival, with discounts leading to prices as low as $25 and $40.

There are some really pretty uchikake available, but two things to keep in mind. First of all, I've had positive experiences with Yamatoku overall, but for the newbie watch out as they seem to use "geisha" loosely when it comes to labeling kimono, possibly as a random keyword to get more hits. Several of the "geisha" ones listed just look like regular wedding kimono (the presence of open fans, pine, and cranes are all classic wedding motifs rather than geisha ones).

Second, I can tell you firsthand that shipping from Japan is expensive, so especially with heavily embroidered and padded at the hem wedding kimono, the cost of shipping can be as much as the cost of the item itself.

If you're not sure what they are, uchikake, both colored and white, are used for wedding ceremonies (both types heavily embroidered) and receptions (colored type only, not embroidered so much) in modern times.

Ideas if you're not sure what to do with one: Some of them can also be used as rough substitutes for oiran (high class prostitute) or geisha outer kimono, for the costuming folks out there, or as an eyecatching piece of home decor or source of unique fabric for sewing and crafting.

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