Tomesode, Furisode, Homongi…
Kimono has a great variety created for difference purposes.
In the world of Geisha: Geiko wear Tomesode; Maiko (Geisha apprentice) wear Furisode. Both their kimono are tailored longer than the traditional design. Tomesode symbolises Geiko’s seniority and humbleness; Furisode emphasises on Maiko’s youth and cheerfulness.
Geiko (left) and Maiko (right). Maiko’s Furisode has long swinging sleeves and it is also more colourful and bright.
There are roughly 20 small items to be worn underneath. It’s very time consuming to get dressed and it can’t be done without professional assistance.
Many people mix up Yukata with kimono. The ‘kimono’ people see outside of Japan are usually Yukata (especially on informal occasions). Yukata is a casual one-layer dress that’s very easy to put on and it requires nothing to be worn underneath. Back in Showa period (1926-89), people used to wear Yukata as pyjamas.
One piece of good formal kimono can cost from AU$2,000 to AU$100,000 depending on its texture, craftsmanship (hand-painted, dyed or printed), history (antique or modern), origin (from which master/atelier)… A made-to-order kimono for maiko (for my banquet dates) usually costs many times more than my formal kimono.
The kimono culture and its philosophy runs far beyond colours… People tend to think that kimono with more colourful designs are more expensive than those with simpler one. It is not necessarily true; the craftsmanship that’s worth thousands of dollars is not easily recognised if one doesn’t know where to look.
What kinds of silk are used?
Which craftsmen sewed them?
How are they painted/dyed?
Why are they designed this way?
And most importantly,
What does it all mean?
I’d love to show you more in person using examples on my own kimono. Book a date with me and have a touch of this 1300 years’ of magnificence with your own hands.
Until we meet…