Grandma's Kimono collection

6 Dec

I’m back from Osaka. 🙂
Here are part of my grandmother’s kimono collection. She has dozens of nice kimonos!

This kimono is categorized as “Ohshima” and it’s quite expensive, according to my grandma.

This kimono is “Shibori” and it’s also considered a good quality. But I didn’t like both colors. -_-

It’s Haori, or a half coat. I liked its modern pattern.

This Fukuro-Obi is so golden. I liked it, but then the kimono must be very good one too to be coordinated with it, according to my grandma. Hmm…I’m afraid I’m not confident enough to dress myself up with a good kimono…:(

I liked this one.

But unfortunately her taste is different from mine. I didn’t like most of the designs and colors she had. >_<

When my grandma was young, she was very good at needlework and especially Japanese embroidery called “Rozashi” which is like this. I’ve heard of it, but it was actually the very first time for me to see her Rozashi works. She did Rozashi embroidery on her kimono! It’s so amazing and I totally loved it! Nowadays it’s hardly possible to find people who can do Rozashi any longer in Japan. She had such an amazing skill! She was also a business owner and a single mother in 1940…

She could have shared with me so many things before she became too old. She is going to be 90 in 6 months, and she says “I don’t remember that any more” to almost all the kind of questions I ask to her today. I don’t think I can be good at needlework no matter how well she could have taught me, but I feel that it was too late…She is too old now. I regret that I didn’t even know that she put such a nice thing on her own kimono until today!

I’ve heard my father or relatives talking about her being good at making Rozashi but I didn’t even ask her to show me what she’d created until this time. Well, I didn’t even expect that I could encounter her works with kimono. I was more impressed by her works than kimono as a consequence. I also saw her hand-crocheted stoles, lap robes and a Haori (half coat made for kimono) which also looked so professional. I remember that she made many sweaters for me when I was a kid. But I didn’t even notice that her skills were so professional then.

The nice Rozashi Japanese embroideries will appear at some points. I fell in love with this kimono and some other ones with nice Rozashi embroideries.

The Rozashi Japanese embroideries that she also put on a Fukuro-Obi. *lovely* ^_^

Well, it was another kimono post from my grandmother’s collection, but I’m much more impressed with her Rozashi, or Japanese embroidery as you may notice. :p


39 Responses to “Grandma's Kimono collection”

  1. Nekocandii December 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Wow, they are gorgeous! Some of the patterns are not my taste either but I love the Rozashi ❤ Did you try searching online to see what you find out about it? Maybe someone else has shared their information.

    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 5:01 am #

      I got tired of taking pictures because there were more and more…^ ^;;
      Maybe there are more different patterns and colors of kimonos later. I didn't even see some drawers because I was so tired checking all these things. lol

  2. Patty December 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Wow, the hand-work of Rozashi is very detailed and amazing. I had to go look that up immediately. There are people in US that teaches it, but unfortunately, nowhere close to me. But this is a neat overview I found: do you think that's accurate?

    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 4:36 am #

      I'm surprised Rozashi is known and even taught by the people over there! I cannot tell much about it without asking my grandma. But the link seems to be the one that tells about it.

  3. Emily December 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    These are really pretty! Kimonos aren't really that common where I'm from so this is super interesting! I have a kimono-style robe I got on sale at Victoria's Secret made of red polyester :p lol

    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 4:43 am #

      My grandma's kimonos are made of silk and it totally distracts me that cleaning kimono requires so much of effort and money. They will take off threads from kimono to make it some pieces of cloths to wash to wash and then they will sew it again…I'd rather prefer polyester one that can be washed at home.

  4. Laura Autón García December 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your grandma's kimono *_* Apart from the designs, that may one may like them more less, I find every kimono so fascinating *_* And I have never hear from Rozashi before :O I love it! and your grandma was undoubtedly skilled 🙂

    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 4:45 am #

      It was even my first time to see what Rozashi looked like. ^ ^;; It's not common in Japan any longer.

  5. sedonia2 December 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing that, Kirin. Some of those patterns and colors are so pretty! Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful person. 🙂

    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 4:45 am #

      Thank you, Sedonia. I'll tell her that! 😀

  6. Ms.Godzilla December 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    How lucky to receive such beautiful kimono.
    By the way, the fukuro obi would work well with the black kimono with fans, or if you have a single colour kimono. That way all the attention goes to the obi (I would wear it with a coloured collar as well, not white)

    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 4:47 am #

      Thank you for the tips.
      The more I get to know kimono the more I feel めんどくさい…^ ^;; I'm not sure if I can wear it properly by now. lol

    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 4:56 am #

      Hi Ms. Godzilla,

      I wanted to leave a following comment to your blog but there was no appropriate option (usually NAME/URL) to choose from, and so I couldn't.
      BTW, here's what I wanted to ask you there.

      Are you learning how to play Koto? I was learning it from 5 to 13 but it's been a long time since I quit it. How do you learn it? By yourself? Do you know any good teacher? I may have to find a teacher to remember how to play it again. :p


  7. Christine December 7, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    Thank you for sharing your collection. I especially enjoyed the Rozashi, I've done a couple of small pieces in this technique. I now am learning Japanese Embroidery, from


    • kirin December 7, 2011 at 4:59 am #

      What a surprise! Somebody is teaching it in the U.S?! 0_0

  8. Miki December 7, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    These are beautiful, and your grandma is so cool! I come from Hispanic descent, and my grandma loves traditional embroidery, too; she mostly works with classic Mexican attire.
    Thank you for sharing, Kirin!

    • kirin December 9, 2011 at 1:58 am #

      Classic Mexican attire…sounds interesting! 😀
      I think it'd be nice if you could talk with your grandparents well while they are still young. I totally missed the chance. > <

  9. Maneki Neko (MN) December 7, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Thanks for making this post Kirin, it was great! I really like some of those kimono. I want to go to a shrine sale in Japan now to find a nice one…

    • Troo December 9, 2011 at 8:58 am #

      There's a pretty nice second-hand Kimono shop in Sunshine City, Ikebukuro, if I recall correctly 🙂

  10. Daniela December 7, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Wow, the kimonos might not be my taste, but they are gorgeous! And the Rozashi is amazing! I bet it's hard to get such great things nowadays with this quality.
    My grandmother used to be good at embroidery (mostly table clothes) when she younger but now her fingers are too stiff for this kind of delicate work.

    I also regreet it a bit I didn't talk to my grandparents about certain things earlier. They remember a lot but not all details and often argue while telling us like "It was like this and that! That person lived in that house!" and the other one answers "What? No! You're getting senile…it was like this and that! And he lived in a different village!" They are both 80 now, never talked about their past (childhood during world war II, escaping from their home village after the war, hard work live,…) and just started some years ago to do so. I think it's really interesting, so I get to know more about my family.
    And I'm sad I didn't ask my other grandfather so many things. He passed away nearly two years ago (at age 88) and he always told so much from his past. But there are still so many thing I'd like to know, not only about his past but he also knew so many things.

    I think we should all try to talk to our grandparents as much as possible to get to know things while we stil can. Otherwise so much wisdom would be lost.

    • kirin December 9, 2011 at 2:05 am #

      "So much wisdom would be lost"…I totally agree with you!
      It was very interesting to hear a story from my grandmother how she lost some kimono under WW2 and how she started up her store and made it bigger and bigger, and etc., which she shared with me a couple of years ago. She could have shared a lot more interesting stories and wisdom with me. It was too late that I asked her, and she told me she never expected I'd be interested in listening to those.

  11. Steve Stier December 8, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    The day will come when you will have to wear a Kimono for a special event and when that happens I hope you take a picture and post it for everyone to see. Wow, this post got a lot of comments. I think Kimonos are about as important to Japanese culture as Religion.

    • kirin December 9, 2011 at 2:07 am #

      I hope I can wear a kimono properly soon and share it with you in New Year. From this note, you can imagine I'm still struggling to wear it beautifully. ^ ^;;

  12. Salma December 8, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    Thank you for sharing the photos, dear Kirin, and I'm impressed by your grandmother's gorgeous Rozashi. ^_^

    • kirin December 10, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      I didn't expect to see her Rozashi on kimono. I'm happy I could blog about that too. ^ ^

  13. lore December 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    I'd like to see a picture of you wearing a kimono!!

    • kirin December 9, 2011 at 2:13 am #

      Oh, sure, I'm planning to share it with you in New Year. Now I'm still learning how to wear it properly…^ ^;; I'm taking so much time, I guess I'm so poor at learning this kind of thing. >"<

  14. kaorukreations December 9, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    did you tried those on? They look nice! When I studied abroad, My host-grandmother help me worn her kimono that was passed down from the previous generation that was like 100 years old! I felt honored =)
    It is really sad how the current generation does not know how to wear it! I do know that you have to go to school to learn how to wear Kimono, but I bet the number is decreasing!
    The government should do something about it!


    • kirin December 10, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      I agree with you. I hear some kimono schools teach how to wear a kimono for free because otherwise they have no chance to increase people who get interested in purchasing kimono and learning further.
      It's serious we are losing our culture….

      • kaorukreations December 11, 2011 at 6:21 am #

        I didnt know kimono school are teaching for free! I would attend those classes for sure!
        Wearing kimono is not an easy task but getting to wear it is an honored, to me!

        do u know any schools that offers classes for free?

      • kirin December 11, 2011 at 8:20 am #

        For instance,

        But be careful, I hear some kimono schools try to convince you that you should buy kimono from them.
        I guess many Japanese people can be too weak to decline that. If the students buy kimono from them, they can still make money even if they offer free lessons.

  15. Troo December 9, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    These are so beautiful. Agreed, not to my personal taste, but really gorgeous, and your grandmother's rozashi is flawless!

    • kirin December 10, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      I really liked how she enjoyed her own kimono by adding something unique. ^ ^

  16. banabou December 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Oh, WOW. I love your grandmother's rozashi work! It's so pretty and tidy. I want to learn more about this now. 😀 Thanks for introducing me to this lovely art form.

    • kirin December 16, 2011 at 12:40 am #

      Thank you. ^_^

  17. Walter January 9, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    Thank Ypou so much for posting this , Kirin-san. I'll 'advertise' it on the Dutch and English kimono de Jack club. I don't wear kimono myself , but I really like the ones your grandmother has. Such beautiful patterns. The one wit the butterflies looks to be quite a modern design. How old are they ?

    • kirin January 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi Walter,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I'm not quite sure how old the butterflies one, but yeah it looks modern. All of these kimonos should not be so new, because it's been more than at least 20 years since she stopped wearing kimono.

  18. kittykanzashi January 9, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Those are lovely examples of kimono and your grandmother's rozashi is wonderful! Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to learn embroidery because I love wearing kimono in the UK and I'm looking for ways to personalise my kimono and obi.

    • kirin January 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      I was so much impressed when I saw my grandmother's rozashi. As you say, I agree it's a good way to personalize your own kimono and differentiate it from others. ^_^

      Thank you for your comment, and I hope you enjoy your kimono in the U.K!

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