Friday, March 25, 2011

Kids' Kimono Seminar

As I've mentioned, I've recently started a Japanese language and culture club at the school I teach at. A few weeks ago I brought in a few women's kimono (yukata, houmongi, furisode) and this week brought in a full formal men's outfit to show the kids.

It was very interesting to see their reactions to both, as my audiences are usually teens and older. Like older age groups, they loved the long sleeves of the furisode, but unlike the older audiences a lot of them found the red obi/black yukata example pairing I usually show to be tacky. ^_^;

One girl shares my opinion that the guys' stuff is much higher on the cool scale than the girls'. And it's always fun to hear the "oooos" when I show an audience the plain black men's haori jacket, talking about it, and then turn it around to show them the beautiful painting inside.

It was also a new challenge dressing myself over my own clothes while standing on a chair so everyone could see the entire outfit, as I didn't have the stage I usually do. Getting my feet through the voluminous legs of split hakama while balancing on said chair was fun, but not something I'd like to do again!

I think the next time we touch on clothing and accessories I'll bring in an authentic wedding wig and see what they think.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Update and Helping Japan

My love of kimono is still very much here, even if I haven't been blogging lately! I've started an informal Japanese club at the school I teach at, taken in kimono to show my kids, and am slowly walking the club, a group of wonderfully smart and eager kids, through basic Japanese phrases. :)

However, on a more serious note, tonight I wanted to ask anyone reading to please send along donations, prayer, kind thoughts, or anything they can to the people who have suffered and are still suffering in Japan due to the earthquake, tsunami, aftershocks, and ongoing nuclear scare.

Sendai was the first city I ever lived in in Japan, and one I still hold very dear. It's been rough watching all the footage coming from there without being able to go to Japan and be there to help somehow, but in a very small way I'm now trying to help by donating my own money and spreading the word as much as I can.

Please help me by continuing to spread the word. With its economy going through rough times, Japan has a long, hard road ahead of it in rebuilding.