It's summer already. Why. Why, Florida? Well, technically, it's been summer since the beginning of the year, but even so. This means I really need to work on converting all of my wardrobe to hitoe fabrics, preferably ro, sha, or perhaps even ra clothing. I'm seriously thinking of getting large spools of hemp and crocheting an obi! Something loose-weave and light for casual wear, which is all it could ever be, like heko obi-style. Fortunately, I still have one or two yukata to wear.
I'm getting prepped for Natsu Matsuri. I'm not sure what to do this year. I may have only one table and I'll bring the shoe rack. I need to find my Square reader and download the app for it. I do have two nice hanging mannequins to dress up this time! So exciting! Although I should think about a new design for how things are set up. I bought a display board for jewellery to help get it above eye level and painted it for Morigyaru style (my current fave). So... maybe a garment rack, which I can borrow... I will likely try to sell off a stack of books this year. There's so much to think about every time, and every time I think I over think the event! Really, it's only three hours long, and it starts so early in the morning most don't even start filtering in until the last hour. Maybe I should make some new stuff for the event?
I want to bring everything I can! Some things you can expect to see:
- Hanhaba obi, including synthetic and cotton obi in various stripes and colours.
- Vintage silk obiage
- LOTS of obijime! I cleared out my drawers of anything non-essential, and there's still plenty up for sale
- Haori accessories
- Obi kazari, charms to tuck into the obi that dangle and tie together colours you might not have thought to pair together
- Kimono (of course)
- A few high-end fukuro obi
- Lots of jewellery, including bracelets and earrings
- Books on Japan or about Japanese culture
Should I bring things like little drawstring pouches for sale (in
addition to the jewellery)? Herb sachets for drawers? I'll probably make
a bunch of magnets... those tend to be cheap, anyone can use them, and I can produce them quickly. How should I display them? Maybe I should get a really cheap but nice cookie sheet to prop up and cover in the bright sparkly things. I definitely need to print new business cards! Should I go with the old ukiyoe-based red/indigo/parchment yellow? Or should I go for a more modern peach/brown/mint/sky blue palette?
From Asahi Shinbun, 25-03-2014
Keeping Tradition Alive: Geisha to Get Subsidies for Clothing
KYOTO--Young geisha starting out can easily splurge
as much as 10 million yen (nearly $100,000) on exquisite kimono and
accessories in their first year as a free agent.
Not surprisingly, the ranks of geisha, called "geiko," are thinning.
Alarmed at the dwindling number of professional geiko plying
their art in Kyoto's Gion and other districts of the ancient capital,
the Foundation Ookini, a Kyoto organization for promotion of traditional
performing arts, decided to subsidize kimono expenses for young
independent geiko from April.
Officials said their aim was to ease the women's financial burden so that the venerable geisha tradition will continue.
According to the foundation, eligible geiko are "jimae-san"--independent free agents, so to speak--who are in their early 20s.
The subsidy will cover 50 percent of clothing expenses, or up
to 500,000 yen, between the three months prior to the time leaving her
geisha house and the five years after becoming independent. The
foundation set a limit of one purchase per year and three purchases over
a five-year period.
A geisha house will take care of clothing, food and housing
for a girl from the time she joins the establishment upon graduating
from junior high school until she transitions from "maiko"
apprentice-level position to geiko and independence.
After reaching jimae-san status, a geiko must procure her own
garments and other items. An inexpensive kimono will run between
700,000 yen and 800,000 yen while the "obi," or sash, ranges from
300,000 yen to 400,000 yen. If an independent geiko buys a new outfit
for each season, her expenses can easily nudge the 10 million yen mark
in her first year.
As of the end of January there were 181 geiko in Kyoto's five geisha quarters, a drop of 21 women from 2006.
Over the five years, 59 women apparently retired upon becoming geiko or jimae-san.
The foundation was established by the Kyoto City Tourism
Association and the city's geisha quarters. Until now, it has provided
financial incentives for veteran geiko who are well-versed in the
An official of the foundation noted that the geisha tradition
will fade without an influx of young people. The subsidy is intended
"to provide some encouragement to young women who are hesitant about
Fumisono, 26, a geiko who has gone independent, says, "There
are many cases of women quitting because they're worried about whether
they can make it financially. The subsidy will help."