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!♥


  1. Ich fand das richtig interessant! Ich habe auch einen Yukata, aber ich bin schrecklich darin, ihn zu binden und es ist mir noch nicht so richtig gut gelungen ^-^
    Tutorials mit guter Qualität und am besten auf Deutsch gibt es leider kaum.

    Ob euer Kimono Club sich mal an einer Fotoreihe oder einem Video zur Erklärung versuchen würde? ^-^

  2. Thanksies sweetie for sharing so much! ♡ ^___^
    Some time got to know kimonos and yukatas a bit more, but it's always good to hear from someone who has experience and japanloverme-pics are always super adorable! ♡ ♡

    ~ Frillycakes ~

  3. Wirklich hübsche Bilder und sehr interessanter Eintrag. Du solltest öfter über dein Studi-Leben schreiben, es ist toll das du deine Passion so ausleben kannst. (^◇^)

  4. Als ich dieses Jahr auf der Hanami Convention in Ludwigshafen war und eines meiner Kimonoensemble trug, kam auch jemand an und hat gesagt: "Tolles Geisha Cosplay!" ... war vielleicht nett gemeint, aber ich hab ihn nur genervt angeschaut :P

    Finde es so schade, dass es sowas wie einen Kimono-Club nicht auch bei uns gibt, fühl mich oft ziemlich alleine hier mit meinem Hobby :c

    Ich sollte nach Düsseldorf ziehen (笑) Wie viele Kimono besitzt du selbst eigentlich? =)

    Viele Grüße ^o^)/
    (Bin Kuro Shiro Kurage von FB übrigens) ~

  5. Woooow really great article!!! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. Thanks for sharing this! I think kimonos and yukatas are very interesting and beautiful! I got to try a kimono once when I was like 10 years old. xD Bad thing I didn't really understand it then... It would be fun to own a kimono or yukata but I should first study hard how to put them on! :D

  7. ahhhhh Kimono's always look elegant and pretty. I'd love to wear one, one day. great facts too!

  8. yaaay *-* really beautiful kimonos! I love all of them ; ; I want one too!
    and a lot of information of "how to dress it"jajaja thank you ^ ^


  9. Ahhh how pretty! The high school where I will be attending this coming school year used to have culture club and I was looking forward to it so so much. But sadly all the members just graduated. But that doesn't mean I can't practice at home, ne? ^^

  10. I wished my university had something like this D: My Yukata is just sitting in my drawer because I don't know how to put it on T__T.

  11. You look amazing in your kimono, I am very jealous!! I would love to get the opportunity to get all dressed up like that!!
    I'm very interested in geisha and maiko; I love the make-up and hairstyles!!
    Belle xox


  12. Aaah vielen Dank!!
    Jetzt weiß ich endlich wofür die löchrige Platte gut ist, die ich zu meinem Kimono dazubekommen habe!!

    - Himezawa

  13. Thank you SOOO MUCH for this article !!!