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    1. #1
      Cosmic Citizen ExoByte's Avatar
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      Any Japanese Savvy around? (Switch :) ) Tell me about Kimonos

      THIS MEANS YOU SWITCH!

      Christmas season is coming around, there's a girl, and I want to get something really special.

      She's huge into Japanese culture, and I've been thinking of getting her something that reflects that. I've been playing with the idea of getting her a Kimono of some sort for Christmas, but don't know the first thing about them or shopping for them.

      Most of my Google searches turn up are apparently of people looking for Kimonos in a lingerie form or 'nightwear'. This is not what I'm looking for.

      I'm looking for something decent, and that at least reflects the traditional Japanese Kimono. Something that she can wear around the house, or out if she wanted too.

      The colours are also very important. They need to be powerful, compliments her personality. This doesn't mean soft colours are out of the question, if they're utilized right.

      But as I said, I know little, that's why I'm looking to you guys. Any suggestions you have would be awesome
      Last edited by ExoByte; 12-08-2009 at 01:49 AM.
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    2. #2
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      Hello ExoByte ^.^

      Sorry for the delay, I was a little tied up in school work. I think its extremely nice that you want to buy Kimono for someone you care for. ^_^ It's very difficult to find nice quality Kimono outside of Japan but there are a few places online that you can find very decent Kimono for a very decent price. Kimonos are extremely expensive in Japan normally costing at low 1,180,000 円 (Yen) which is inequivalent to around $13,500.00 US Dollars. Which is normally just Kimono. The Obi (which is the sash that ties around the front or the back of Kimono) can also be a few thousand dollars. A full Kimono with everything that is needed will exceed $20,000.00 US Dollars. There are second hand Kimonos also sold in Japan that are reasonably price and you can find those at normally around $300.00 to around $500.00 US Dollars. Most of the good Japanese online store websites to shop for Kimono are not user friendly with regards to translating pages. So reading the Kanji may be a bit of a task if you're familiar with Japanese script language. I'll post as many good links that I can find and if you have any further questions feel free to ask here or you are more than welcome to PM me. ^_^

      Shopping for Kimono can be a bit trying but if you have a general idea of what you are looking for then the task may not be as difficult and it seems you have a lot of areas covered regarding the look that you are looking for. Many people who buy Kimono and do not know the background of our Kimono and will usually buy the wrong kind or once they have the Kimono they wear it completely wrong and I really hate to see that. (pet peeve of mine). Kimono comes in various styles and the patterns are usually the focal point when buying Kimono. Also something to keep in mind will be the additional attachment or pieces. There are around 15 or more pieces that are associated with wearing Kimono. These are a few that I can think of off the top of my head I'll take a look at mine and list my attachments.

      Tomoeri - This is a sort of outer inner collar the most outermost collar of Kimono
      Uraeri - This is the inner collar which lines accordingly with outer collar but must be visible. This is normally white in color.
      Juban - This is the under robe that is in the same shape of Kimono.
      Hadajuban - This is the under shirt worn underneath the Juban and is white.
      Susoyoke - This is known as Kimono Slip and worn underneath Hadajuban.
      Obi -Which is the sash that goes around outer Kimono and ties in various ways.
      Maeita - This is similar to like a kind of board that goes around upper waist below breast under the Kimono in order to keep Obi in place.
      Obiage - This ties around Obi allowing for the Obi knot to stay in place.
      Obimakura - This is a fluffy texture that ties around Obi at the back and brings the Obi outward to make it look full.
      Obijime - This is a small like string that follows Obi around and ties which keeps the Musubi from unraveling.
      Datemaki - This is follows the Nagajuban and keeps Kimono in place until Obi is tied.
      Tabi - are socks that are separated at toes.
      Zori - which are the shoes worn for Kimono or Yukata.

      And that's just for Kimono. Kimono is complimented by many different hair accessories and other accessories as well. ^_^ There are so many pieces to wearing Kimono even for casual wear it is nearly impossible to put it on alone. It also takes a lot of experience with tying the Obi and putting the Obi pieces in their correct places. This can become extremely frustrating. I cannot put on a Kimono alone it requires the assistance of at least 2 additional people who are experienced in preparing Kimono wear and even then it's still a very highly difficult task that can take a few hours to complete.


      When I wear Kimono I must wear a Furisode which is a Kimono with long sleeves that sort of sways. This is most popular Kimono worn by young women that are not married as it's purpose is to completely stand out and attract attention by it's amazing colors and gorgeous patterns. Here are a few that you can get a general idea from. ^_^



      There are several types and styles of Kimono and I will list a few that I know.

      The Furisode Kimono above in the photo is worn by unmarried women like me. Once woman is married sleeves are shortened. The colors and patterns in a Furisode are extremely flamboyant as to draw attention. ^_^

      The Komon style Kimono is a very casual type and the patterns are not so elaborative but they are continuous throughout the entire seams which makes it look very nice also. This type of Kimono can be worn for special outing also if dressed up with nice elegant Obi. It can be worn casually around town by dressing down the Obi. There are choices one can make in order to turn any Komon to a very extremely elegant formal wear or just a casual wear depending on how dressed up the Obi may become. This is typical Komon.



      The Homongi is another Kimono style that can be worn by unmarried as well as married women. On the Homongi style the version she will need to have the extended sleeves version. Colors on Homongi are very elaborative and always elegant. The colorful patterns run over most of the Kimono which stands out very nicely. I own Homongi also and I wear it at home usually if I attend a nice restaurant. It's not considered formal but yet formal enough to be worn for special outing and nice occassion ^_^ This is typical Homongi.



      There are several other styles but they are mostly high formal and also worn for wedding or any other extremely formal occasions.

      Now as for the Obi. This normally does not come with Kimono but it is not at all impossible to find Kimonos that has all the attachments needed and still priced reasonably. Each variation of ways to tie the Obi can be more tedious than the next for inexperienced. Obi's come an a great many styles. They can be wide or narrow, thick or thin, plain or colorful. It all depends on the occasion. There are several ways an Obi can be tied and the way the knots are tied are for certain occasions. Married women Obi's are tied completely in a different manner than an unmarried woman. These are some of the Obi knots.

      Taiko - This is most popular knot.
      Darari - Used by performers and Geisha
      Chocho - This is traditional Butterfly knot.
      Ayame - This is very complexed knot and resembles flower.
      Bara - This is contemporary knot and extremely complexed for tie.
      Washikusa - looks like plant knot or some say it looks like great bird.
      Tateya - mostly worn on Furisodes which is full but simple knot.



      This is also very good video to view just to see How to tie an Obi is performed. ^.~ The young girl in the video is wearing a Yukata and not a Kimono.

      I have managed to find a few places that may interest you, which has very reasonably priced Kimono.

      These are Japanese sites and are not translated ; _ ; Sorry.
      Glamorous is my favorite Japanese Kimono store in Japan. I've purchased my Kimonos from here and I have serval. They are extremely reasonbly priced because they are 2nd hand Kimono so they run anywhere from $200 - $500 US Dollars.

      AI of Japan has very kawaii (cute) Kimono also they specialize in Furisode as well as Homongi styles. They are a bit more pricer than Glamorous but not ridiculously pricey. ^_^

      Kimono-Yukata Sakura has very nice reasonbly priced kimonos that range from around $100 - $200 USD. The fabrics are of quality as their kimonos are manufactured in Japan ^_^

      These are just a few sites that are very good with reasonably priced kimonos of very good quality. I will search for more or ask one of my friends to help also ^_^

      Also be careful when shopping online for Kimono there are quite a few imitators out there and they make cheap and poorly sown kimono which are not genuine Japanese garments. I give you links to reliable places ^_^

      But there is always other Japanese cultures of garment that you can purchase that doesn't require the tedious workings of putting on Kimono. You can also purchase a Yukata. It's normally made of cotton some can be found in silk but it's worn during the spring and summer periods. It is very much similar to Kimono but not as heavy and not as many extra pieces. They are so much cheaper, usually around $40 -$60.00.

      Here's a photo of how normal Yukata look and how it should be worn. Yukata appeals to more vibrant colors and has a soft reflection exemplifying the warm periods of time. They look fun and they are very eye catching when worn correctly and with pretty patterns. ^_^



      I hope this helps a little so far. I'm sorry I couldn't be more detailed in the areas of where to buy. It's really hard to find nice quality Kimono store outside of Japan. Most places are what they call "cheap knock offs" and for me Kimono is a very intricate part of my tradition. Genuine Kimono is the only means of searching for Kimono for me. So my Kimonos are always from home, but for most of us our Kimonos are passed down which are very expensive Kimonos. If you have any other questions you are more than welcome to ask and I will try to explain with the best of my ability ^.^

      I apologize if this is a lot of information but I like to cover all areas and not leave anything out. ^.~

    3. #3
      Cosmic Citizen ExoByte's Avatar
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      Don't apologize, that was excellent Switch! Thank you very much

      The more information the better!

      I am more than willing to put out a few hundred dollars if need be. Unfortunately by the sounds of it, if I were to go for an authentic Kimono the chances or her being able to wear it would be small

      The Furosode, Komon and Homongi pictures you posted are all beautiful! I would love to be able to get something like that for her. The Furosode and Komon look like what I'm looking for. Komon likely moreso if its possible to find vibrant colours that compliment her strong personality. Shes got a pretty powerful aura about her and if possible I'd like to reflect that. The Kimono I think should be as much a reflection as possible of Japanese Culture and her love for it, and the personality that I've had the privilege to enjoy.

      This is also why I'd like to get something authentic if possible. The Yukata however seems much more practical and pocket friendly. If I were to get a Yukata, the principles above should still apply.

      Hypothetical Situation 1: I go for the Kimono. How would/should I go about doing this, what tips can you offer and do you have any specific suggestions? I can provide any information you might need.
      If I were to use the Japanese links you provided, would you be able to help me out? If they even ship internationally.

      Hypothetical Situation 2: I get a Yukata instead. Same questions.

      Thanks for your help Switch I'm reading over your post a few times to get it all in
      Last edited by ExoByte; 12-10-2009 at 03:57 AM.
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    4. #4
      Gentlemen. Ladies. slayer's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ExoByte View Post
      Don't apologize, that was excellent Shift! Thank you very much

      Thanks for your help Shift I'm reading over your post a few times to get it all in
      Switch*

      Don't worry. I asked her to marry me and accidentally said Shift too...

    5. #5
      Cosmic Citizen ExoByte's Avatar
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      I was just reading a post by Shift before this >.<

      Crossed thoughts. Their names are so similar
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