Sunday, February 04, 2007

Japan: Hiroshima - Kimono Dressing

Konichiwa Minna-san!

This entry is about my experience wearing a kimono. I attended a cultural kimono dressing class. Japanese women had volunteered to bring kimonos and dress us properly in one. Then we took pics and went to eat lunch in our kimonos. Let's just say that this is the best diet ever because not only can you not eat, you also cannot breath. Seriously.

There are many, many, many pieces to a kimono. First an undergown - like a kimono but it's cotton and is an underwear. Then the many bindings that are tied around you, ropes made of cloth. These are tied very tightly and you have to suck in. Then the Kimono itself. After is the obi - the middle silk and embroidered sash, this is tied beautifully in the back. The obi has many ties and a flat towel or cardboard piece folded inside the obi. This is so you have No curves. A beautiful kimono is one where the woman has straight sides and no breasts. I've explained this all in the simplest steps, but it took 3 women to dress me, and agonize over little folds and details.

The kimonos are amazingly beautiful, however once on, your circulation is cut off from right under your boobs, to below your waistline. You are forced into perfect posture. You cannot slouch nor sit without being upright. This would be the equivalent to the Western corset.