Bebe Taian: April 2013

April 16, 2013

Private Collection: 1960's Synthetic Juban

This is a fairly old juban, likely made in the 1960s, featuring a bold traditional pattern of asa-no-ha. Asa-no-ha is a stylized hemp pattern, and it's one of my favourites!

The pattern is made with faux shibori; shibori which is printed instead of tied with threads before dyeing. I'm not sure if the stripes on the sleeves were intentional, or a product of running off the fabric on older machines. It's a blurry, uneven set of stripes which only appear there.

The collar, like many antiques and vintage pieces, is not to be folded in half. Instead, it is pre-sewn in the half-size, and is not intended to be covered with a haneri. The collar is meant to be seen as-is.

Surprisingly, there are few stains on the piece, and those that exist are well-hidden by the busy pattern and bright colours! But because it's an older synthetic, it's quite hot and heavy. I don't get to wear it very often because of this, even though it is one of my favourite pieces. When the weather drops to around 40F again, I'll bring it out.

The lining is surprisingly boring. It's a plain white rough cotton, similar to muslin. I suspect that the original maker also thought the exciting outer shell, while beautiful, was overwhelmingly warm... even for a lined juban. Japan is notoriously humid; the last thing anyone wants is more moisture and heat on them. I suppose I should be grateful that the maker didn't use silk, which is warmer.

I do need to dry-clean this one again. I made the mistake of wearing it without washing it first, just trying on a few outfits, and my skin broke out everywhere the fabric touched. Auugh the itchyness! I'm allergic to some types of chemicals, even ones in common laundry soap, so I'll look into washing this one sometime. Just not when I won't be wearing it for the next 3/4ths of the year! I'll let you know what happens to the fabric then!

April 6, 2013

Go Hime! Project Submission

A mysterious person (name not yet revealed) is hosting a photo submission contest for a kimonoHIME fan magazine, Go Hime! Submissions close on the 7th, so, in about an hour here.

I was feeling rather restless today and decided to dress up in my new kimono. I wasn't sure if I wanted to try submitting anything. I can't take photos of myself for anything, and my camera is about 10 years old now... but I ended up tossing in anyways, after my husband carted me out to a local park, camera in hand. <3

Plenty of familiar faces are already part of it! Lyuba of Strawberry Kimono, Naomi of Immortal Geisha + Kimono Asobi, BikaBika of Yield for Kimono, and Satomi Grim, amongst others. I don't think I'll win, but it was a great day to get photos of my new kimono!

What am I wearing?

- Taisho rose pattern komon
- Taisho peacock pattern juban
- Showa shushu Nagoya obi with shishi + fireworks motif
- Purple silk shibori obiage
- Wide pink + bluish-grey obijime
- Vintage gold/silver fan
- Long gauzy blue scarf (don't recall where it's from, but by now I suppose it doesn't matter...)
- Silver rose stud earrings
- Silvertone snake ring
- Bracelet of skull beads from a bone mala
- Stretch tabi + new sandals from Target (zori tend to break on me. Hanao are never long enough!)
- A pair of authentic bekko hairpins (but you can't really tell in the pics)

April 4, 2013


I haven’t been blogging nearly as often as I’ve scheduled myself to. I got one day off this week, and that’ll be spent taking care of house stuff, packing orders for Perthro’s, and catching up with family and friends.

It’s been rough. A friend died, and I buried another friends’ cat, who was awesome. He was a very old kitty when he went. And all of this stuff, and the other minor stuff and setbacks going on, and still dosing Bebe daily with meds and trying to afford her other meds and special cat food and all this stuff… I just can’t function most days. I can’t focus for more than a few minutes on any one thing. I feel a bit stretched too thin, overexposed.

For what little time I do have on my day off, I think my version of relaxing will be to Google myself under various pennames and to shut down extraneous accounts. I found one today that I wrote one blog post under, and never logged in again. I just… forgot I had it. That’s how I know I’ve got too much going on!

The highlight of my week has been busting butt to make money for all the bills sort-of-ish on time. As a bonus, I did get a new Yoshi wallet to help organise all the stuff in my purse! My Bolivian-made one has been used daily for so long that it’s wearing thin and falling apart.

I’m sure I’ll return to blogging again one day soon. I miss it. I miss the small adventures of mini impromptu research projects for the fun of it. But now I can barely focus on a magazine article all the way through. I just keep moving from one thing to the next… but I hold out hope that things will change soon. Wish me luck!