Miss Neko

Miss Neko

Freitag, 18. Juli 2014

Kimono club, big events & Kitsuke ♥ Basic Kimono knowledge for you !

Hi there (^-^)v
Today I will write about the Kimono club of my University.
I joined it shortly after I started studying, so I'm practising 
"The art of wearing Kimono" = Kitsuke 着付け every week since 
almost 2 years now. I made very good friends during that time and
Kitsuke truly woke a deep passion within me ♥
Now you might be wondering:
"But what do you do in a Kimono club ?"
Well wearing a Kimono is not just putting over a bathrobe and
binding a belt around it. There are countless ways of binding
the so called Obi . And putting on the Kimono the right way can also be
quite complicated at first. But if you practise it a lot it really
gets way easier and you get faster and faster. By now I am able to
put on a cotton summer Kimono called Yukata 
浴衣 and tie it's 
Hanhaba Obi 半巾帯 in about 5 minutes.
So there are several different kinds of Obi and also Kimono.
 Which one of them you choose to wear depents on the occasion.
There are very formal Kimono like the Furisode  振袖 for unmarried 
young girls or informal ones for daily life like the Komon 小紋.
Here is some basic information about Kimono :

Important note for beginners :
When you put on your Yukata/Kimono please don't ever
forget to make the "Ohashori". It is the small fold right

beneath the Obi you can see on the picture above.
It should be about 5-8 cm wide. It is just not right if you
don't do it and it will be quite strange if people who
know about Kimono see you that way...
However if your Kimono is too short so you can not make this fold
take a thin summer scarf or ideally an Obiage and bind it under your
Kimono right where the Ohashori should have been.

The scarf/Obiage can substitute the fold.
This is an approved way to do it according to Kitsuke rules.
It is not too hard to put on the Kimono the right way
and there are lots of good tutorials on youtube for this !
Anyhow if you are not willing to put at least this little 

effort into your Kimono outfit I'd suggest you better do not
do it and look for an easier outfit ! 

It's shocking what kind of messy "Kimono" outfits I
had to witness on some cons. I'm not saying this in vain !
If you want help I'm always happy to offer it to you
and our club saved more than 1 messy Kimono outfit
on a con ;) But there are too many people who are very 

cocky about their badly put on outfits and it's sad that they
don't seek help with it when they obviously can't handle it yet.
Everybody was a beginner once, there is no shame about it.

I'm not perfect yet neither ^^
Kimono shoes :

Important fact that people often get wrong :
A normal Kimono outfit has NOTHING to do with being a Geisha !
Don't say you wear a "Geisha outfit" if you're just wearing a normal cotton Yukata or any other normal Kimono !
Sadly we hear things like "Oh look a Geisha girl" by strangers
way too often. An outfit for a Geisha is a whole other thing !
It is way more complicated and people often have the picture of  
an apprentice Geisha = Maiko in their head when saying this...
This is a Geisha:
Recently I also discovered a great graphic about basic Kimono 
knowledge in the German newspaper "Die Zeit". The article is from 
2010 and was presented to me in the Japan club of Düsseldorf.
Funny thing is this graphic was made by a friend from a Kimono club in 
Augsburg who watched the fireworks display at the Japan Day with us !
Her name is Astrid Zacharias Awesome work ! ♥ *-*
Check out her page it has lots of great graphics for Kimono and more.
(By Astrid Zacharias published in "Die Zeit", 2010)
A huge copy of this is hanging on my wardrobe now ^^
I also took a picture for you that shows all the things you need for a
You need all this when you want to put on a Kimono.
And I forgot one more thing, the Obi-ita.
You put it under the Obi to make it look slick and straight without folds.
Please get this, even when you only wear a light Yukata !
It really looks horrible without an Obi-ita. If you can't buy one just
cut out this shape out of thick cardboard.
There also are several more types of ita. You use 1 of them :
Now I want to tell you about several events I went to with the Kimono club.

Kimono dress-up event at the Eko-Haus Düsseldorf 2014
This year our Kimono club did dress up costumers for photos at 
the Eko-Haus. There were several Japanese aides, too. Our club hosted 
the event with the Kimono teacher Sawa-Sensei from Japan.
She visits Germany every year and dresses people in Kimono at 
the Japan Day Düsseldorf. She also taught us lots of things
last year and this year again. She really is a huge role model for me.
A truly great woman. I am glad I had the chance to get to know her a little
and to be taught so many great things by her.
Moreover our club helped at the 
Eko-Haus event 2013 as well - see my blog entry about it here.
Here are some snapshots of the event this year :
I am wearing a Yukata in this picture and the costumer wears a Furisode.
Dressing up a costumer together with Sawa-Seinsei :
Mostly you dress up people in Kimono as a team, we did this as well.
When you see me standing alone on a photo it is only because my
dress-up partner went to get some things for us, or folded something etc.
The day was extremely busy and there were lots of things to do.
Doing a Bunko-musubi tie for the Obi :
We had lots of families as costumers. There were little toddlers and also
older women and man. Of course there are Kimono for men as well.
It's great to see how this connects people. 
Kimono & Kitsuke is truly for everybody. It was an absolutely lovely
experience for me to be part of this event.
The buddhist temple at the Eko-House in which we dressed-up the people :
One day Sawa-Sensei taught me and some other women how
to do a traditional hairdo for Kimono which she also wears a lot.
I really love how it looks *-* ♥ 
I still need to practise it as it's quite difficult >.< 
The look from the front:
Another event our club Kimono was invited to was the celebration of the 

50 year anniversary of the Japanese club Düsseldorf.
They held a garden party at the residence of the Japanese General consul.
Lots of members of the club were invited and I also met some of
the professors of my major course "Modern Japan".
My boyfriend Valentin also joined the event as he was our 
photographer for that day. I had some very interesting conversations 
that day and met a really nice woman who planned on
doing a Sanshin course in Düsseldorf. I own a Sanshin since almost 3
years now 
and will join this course when it starts in the end of this year.
I tried to practise a little on my own but it wasn't so effective.
So I'm really excited about it ♥
The Japanese club publishes it's own magazine a few times each year
and sends it to it's members. As I'm a member as well I get it, too.
The issue of June 2014 was about the 50 year anniversary :
At the event everybody got Sake due to the festive occasion.
 It was served in a wooden box 
called Masu 枡升.
We could take the Masu home with us as memory ^-^
Of course there also was a huge Japanese buffet.
They even had pink sushi ♥
I can't show you pictures of the event or the big Japanese garden
of the residence due to privacy. 
But I can show you my outfit for that day.
Normally you would wear a Houmongi to this occasion but at that time
we had none that would have been long enough to fit my height.
So I had to wear a Komon (informal) but I combined a 
Niju-Daiko musubi 二重太鼓 Obi tie with it which is very formal again.
Kimono club of the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf :
So by now you know that "The art of wearing Kimono" is really complicated
and you need to practise lots of things. Therefore our club meets
once a week to practise dresseng ourself and others.

Here are some of the most common ways to tie the Obi 
that I can do by now.

Fukura-suzume musubi  ふくら雀 :
I did this on one of our club members with a new Obi of mine ^^
The knot resembles a sparrow with its wings spread and is worn only by unmarried women. It is suitable for formal occasions and is only worn with a Furisode. Traditionally, the Fukura-suzume musubi worn with a furisode indicated a woman was available for marriage.

Bunko-musubi :

These two tie-techniques can't be done by yourself. I can only tie them
for others, when I want to wear it myself another person has to tie it for me.

So we usually practise this on each other.
The next Obi tie-technique can be done by yourself.

The Niju-Daiko musubi 二重太鼓 :

It is a very formal way to wear the Obi.
I can also do the simple version of it the so called Taiko musubi.
It looks the same but is done with a different kind of Obi and
only has one layer of fabric for the "drum" on the back instead of
2 layers like the Niju-Daiko.
Here's a snapshot I took during our practise, that day I didn't wear
a Kimono I only put on a simple Hanhaba Obi over my normal clothes
to practise some different tie-techniques with it :
The members of our club all got several books and
magazines about Kimono with tutorials for different tie-techniques

and ways to wear Kimono. Here is one of my magazines:
The most recent event at which our club had a dressing stall
was the Japan-Day at the LSI Bochum on the 12th of July

At the event you could see a variety of things about Japanese culture
and you could also take part in courses. 

They taught Japanese, Calligraphie, Ikebana and more.
At our stall we dressed up people in Kimono for free, so we had
a lot of work to do but I really enjoyed it. It was great to see that
so many people wanted to get dressed and learn about Kimono.

Sadly I had no time to go and look at the other displays at the LSI
but one of our club members took some photos for all of us.
Before all the workshops started there was a Kendo demonstration
in the hall of the building. It was really cool and stunning ! *-*
These were some of the Furisode sets of our dressing stall :
You might have noticed that I wear my blue Yukata a lot to events
recently ^-^ I must say I really love it, I got it for my birthday
this year from my friend Sarah who's also in the 

Kimono club of my university. Thanks so much again ♥
The past few days here in Düsseldorf have been extremely hot.
It's 32°C (ca. 89,6 °F) right now ! 
 To avoid misunderstandings 
I am a member of 2 Kimono clubs
The one club is from my University and the
other club is from the Japanese club Düsseldorf and is
called "Hiyorikai". The Hiyorikai mainly consist of Japanese
women. Becci the leader of our University's club is also
a member of the Hiyorikai and she introduced me to
the Japanese club. I'm deeply thankful for that.
So the Hiyorikai is also Japanese language practise for me.
I still need to improve so much. I'm glad Becci is there with me.
Because of the weather and also the season the Hiyorikai
decided to wear Yukata this week.
It's the usual clothing for summer and summer festivals, so called
Natsu Matsuri. After we put on our Kimono we always eat some snacks
and drink tea. This time we had Hojicha as cold drink 
due to the temperatures. You can get this one at the
Waraku in Düsseldorf. It's super delicious !
And it's even 100% natural and untreated.
The Waraku also delivers Onigiri to the canteens of my
Universitly ~♥ Lucky ! ^^
This pink Sakura Mochi was self-made by a woman from the club *-*
おいしかった! ~♥
Neko's music :


 That's it for today ! Thanks for reading ♪
Tell me how you liked it ! Was it too long
or do you want more information about Kimono ?
Do you have any other questions for me concerning Japanese culture ?
See you next time (^-^)v ニヤー!♥

Freitag, 11. Juli 2014

Trips with my boyfriend Virtual Riot : Toykio café, Miramar Crystal Pool, Music Store, Bootshaus ♥

Hi there (^-^)v
Today I'm gonna write a more personal entry again about my
recent life and adventures with my love Valentin aka Virtual Riot
As some of you might know my boyfriend is a musician & producer
and studies at the Popakademie in Mannheim.
See more about the Popakademie in this entry of mine.
Now I'm gonna write about some exciting things we did the last
few months ♪ダーリン♪ヽ( 〃 ̄ω ̄)人( ̄ω ̄〃 )ノ♪ハニー♪ 
We went to the Music Store in Cologne as he wanted to get
some new things like a field recorder and speakers. I love to
look around in such stores, there is so much to see and
the Music Store is huge ! There even is a café in it ♥
We went there with some friends of ours. After we finished shopping
we had to wait 
for our items to be ready to take home.
Valentin was playing some songs while we were waiting  : 
Music store:
 It's huge *-* You can really spent the day there.
I even found a pink guitar ! ♥
On the 28th May Valentin was performing at the
Bootshaus club in cologne again !
I absolutely love this club and it's by far my favourite one.
The people there are awesome, everyone is really nice and relaxed.
We always have a great time there ♫ ヾ(〃^∇^)ノ~♪
I spent the night with my friend Monika  ♥
you can see Valentin in the background ~ hihi :D
♪ Virtual Riot :
The Event :
 My outfit for the night : 
I don't even know what kind of fashion I could call it ? Any ideas ?
But I must admit I'm also quite content if you can't even lable things
anymore, this means you're getting further in developing your own
ways of fashion, ね ? ♥
I'm currently inspired by Pastel Goth (accessories)
and sweet Liz Lisa Hime Gyaru looks.
After Valentin's performance at the Boothaus we went
to the Dorint hotel :
We were so super tired I can't describe it. It was like
5 o'clock in the morning. So we were really happy to be in such
a comfortable hotel *-* The bed was so fluffy. I love hotel bedding !
Of course we had our little elephant we call "Fant" with us ♥
It's Mouton by Sentimental Circus.
Living the Fant-Life ♥
The Dorint hotel was really fancy and luckily we also had breakfast there.
It was really delicious *^*  They had everything !
Scrambled eggs, and a huge variety of fruits ,
 warm waffles with melted chocolate sauce,
the normal breakfast things like bread and buns and much more.
I ate so many strawberries =D ♥
They even had a live-cooking station. We were so full after it.
Huuuh morning food-coma, not good :D
Most times I kinda have to force Valentin to attend the
hotel breakfasts after his performances.
 I know he/we only had little sleep but it's free for us after all.
I think you should take what you're offered  ;D
And nutrition is really important for you after such an exhausting event.
You can always go back to sleep afterwards again ^.^
Nya ~♪ I really like side parted bangs at the moment :

Another trip I wanted to share with you guys for quite a long time now
is the one to the Miramar Crystal swimming pool ! ♥
I went there for Valentine's Day with Valentin this year.
We're planning on going there again soon as he's living only
30 minutes by train away from it !
Me sitting in the hot Amethyst pool

The Miramar is in Weinheim, near Heidelberg in Germany.
It's one of the greatest indoor pools in Europe.
As I've been there a few times with my boyfriend I already wrote
a huge blog entry about it with lots of information and pictures for you.
click here for the Miramar info & pictures entry.
♥ My boyfriend :

They also have lots of great water slides, even one with a full looping !
As it's so popular it's sometimes also quite crowded.
But you can do something against this problem :
We always go there in the morning and arrive when it just opens,
then there is almost no one !
We were all alone in some of the pools for quite a long time.
In the evenings when it's getting dark it's always extremely full.

Then you can only cling on to your loved one and search for a
romantic, small place ;D Most people do that by the time it's getting dark.
If you're annoyed by other couples I suggest you never go there in
the evenings. But we really liked the atmosphere ~
Love is in the air ;3 ♥

We also lay in the outdoor pools gazing at the stars and looking at the
coloured lights of the crystal lamps in the pool.
One time it even began to rain softly, it was a great feeling laying in the pool.
The outdoor saltwater spa during the day:

The crystal lights up in lots of colours at night and the pool is really hot.
And these were some smaller pools all empty in the morning ♥ :

The big crystals are Amethysts ~♥

There also was a big pool to have some fun in.
Each half an hour there were waves and at night there were some
lazer shows with music in this pool :

So if you ever happen to be near Heidelberg or are planning holidays in Germany I really advise you to go there !
It's awesome and like small holidays ♥ You can have lots of fun, it's
great for children, extremely clean, they have a good restaurant, a
cocktail bar with ice and lots of space to relax in silence ♥
One time we even sleept there for 3 hours as we were
spending 12 hours there :D  The best is to explore everything in 2 days.

If you want you can also enter a huge Sauna area but we didn't
buy a ticket for that. I enjoy swimming most.
And the best thing it's not very expensive, each of us paid
20 € for the whole day. And the bath is really luxurious ♥
I always feel like I'm entering another world when I go there.
It's really vivifying for my spirit. 【〜〜〜( ̄∇ ̄*)〜〜〜】☆゚

Now I'll show you some snapshots I took while
going on some trips with Valentin ♥
This is his fluffy cat Luna :

Nowadays we can only see her when we visit Valentin's family
I really enjoy spending time with them ♥ 
They're really kind and sweet and it's always fun with them.
Most of the time Valentin visits me in Düsseldorf as I like it more 
than Mannheim and he preferes my appartment as
it's a little bigger than his and really cozy.
Moreover there are so many great things and restaurants in Düsseldorf.
And all the Japanese stores we like ♥ But of course I also enjoy
the time we spend in Mannheim. After all there are all his instruments
and he can play some things for me on his piano and show me
new projects he's woring on. Furthermore Valentin is living
only 1 minute away from a great Vegan restaurant.
We always go there when I visit him, it's called Kombüse.
It's absolutely tasty !
Ichigo Bubble Tea  at BoBoQ in Düsseldorf :
At the Eiscafé Tiamo Düsseldorf, it's the one right next to the
main station, inside the cinema :
At the café Toykio that also sells Pop-art :
I love Gloomy bear ! ♥
Gallery/shop in the basement :

"Nekochi : Onaka suita na~ "  I'm hungry ♪
Let's go on with some food snapshots I took the last
few months when I was eating out with Valentin ♥
Once he got a heart waffle to cheer me up again :
Vegetarian sushi ♥
Noodles & vegetables :

And we really eat Pizza too often ... =D
but can you eat Pizza too often ?!
The moment we discovered pizza.de changed my life xD hehe
It made me memorize my new postal code, oh gosh...
I should never go on there again :O
Maybe only a few times more...
One time when we visited Valentin's family we went for a walk
in nature. We saw a really great scenery :
We even stumbled across some horses who let us pet them ^^
We also met a cute snail on our way ♥
Neko's music :

♥ Perfume - Fake it ♥
Like "I love you the most in the world"
Like "I don't need anything but you"
Like "You're the reason I'm alive"

These are feelings that do come directly from my heart when
thinking of him ~ the rest of the lyrics don't apply to me though ;)
I changed the meaning for myself. I think generally this is a really sad song
but to me it's a happy one and always cheers me up ♥

This song of Perfume was even used for a mix by one of my
favourite musicians : Unicorn Kid ♥
That's it for today ! I know it was a lot so
I hope you enjoyed reading and could take some
helpful information for you from this entry.
Let me know how you liked it ! ♥
See you next time (^-^)v nyan ♪