Bebe Taian: Another Unexpected Gift!

May 8, 2011

Another Unexpected Gift!

Another unexpected gift.

The seller miraculously gave me a discount on the ofurisode. A discount great enough to also purchase a Taisho or early Showa-era tomesode, a very stylish one.

I believe it is early Showa because the tomesode does not have the typical mirror-image pattern at the bottom. But, it's a little bit of an unusual thing, I think. It is long for a tomesode of that era. At 64", it's a little long, isn't it? I have a purple ro kimono of the same crest and approximate age which is over a foot shorter.

Interestingly, someone on Immortal Geisha recently found a darari (maiko) obi with the Taira butterfly crest. I have to wonder- is this a common crest, or, like the ivy crest, is there some small variation to this crest used by an okiya that may no longer exist? Is the iro tomesode I already own a common iro tomesode, or was it owned by a member of some okiya for regular wear? Is this new tomesode long because it is really a hikizuri of that time? Some hikizuri of Taisho and early Showa were only an inch or two shorter or longer than this one, with approximately the same wingspan (wrist to wrist length). Or, was it only made for a very tall person, who had no connection to that world?

The furisode is a little odd, too. The ofurisode is most definitely Taisho or early Showa, but it is about 66" long according to the advertisement- long enough for someone who is 5'4" to wear it! Almost a full foot taller than the average woman in Taisho era, and still a few inches taller than the average Japanese woman today! Taller than even most men of that time...

I only hope that the seller does right by me and sends them EMS, and that they arrive here quickly and safely. The seller didn't mention any stains, which makes me a little nervous, and the "rating" was 3/5. However, I hope I can clean stains and make any repairs to make them presentable enough for museum display. It would kill me to be forced to cut them for craft materials. It would really break my heart...

So, what does everyone think?

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