I'm back! I've recovered- a few days ago, actually, but I got so absorbed in catching up on what I missed... well, at least I'm here to write again. Don't worry. I haven't forgotten the posts I'd wanted to make a week ago. <3
It's July already, isn't it? Ah, the time goes by too quickly. Fumizuki, "Month of Books", is the traditional name for the seventh month. I think this year, I will try to go by Western dates for all things, and then next year, switch to Lunar Calendar dates for some things, like month changes.
This month, fans are all the rage! You'll see a lot of uchiwa hairpins, the broad, flat paddle-like fans native to China and carried over to Japan long ago. There are also special Gion Matsuri hairpins that some maiko will wear, but fans are the main theme here.
Be sure to look for peonies and running water motifs as well on kimono. Running water is a vastly popular and very beautiful motif. I am fortunate to have a metallic silver fukuro obi with ichimatsu (woven checkers) and running water patterns. <3 You might even see kimono for special events with fireworks themes (perfect for us Americans celebrating the 4th of July!), or dragonflies and summer grasses. I myself have a deep purple ro kimono from Taisho era featuring a riverside bed of grasses. I am looking for a white ro obi to pair with it- I have the most gorgeous dragonfly-patterened green and brown obiage to go with it!
For me, all year is basically ro silk or yukata weather- as thin as possible, because it's so hot outside. However, the fact is that once upon a time, the kimono was a living garment, and many folks couldn't afford silks, much less expensive, delicate gauzy silks. Cottons and hemp fabrics in a single layer were worn, so don't feel restricted if it's too hot or too cool for what is appropriate according to modern rules!