Thursday, September 13, 2012

Please Don't Say "Sayonara"

First, let me offer an explanation of the title. I was once told that when saying sayonara to someone, there was an implication that one would never see them again (probably because they were going off to war and did not expect to return). Why is this appropriate today? Well, today was the last day of work at my location for one of my coworkers and I promised her that I would dress up to come in and say goodbye. That she is leaving us is a happy thing, because she's transferring to a location in Portland while she pursues her education. 

To that end, I wanted to dress in a manner that would be appropriate for the occasion, hence a somewhat subdued kimono paired with an auspicious obi. You can see the ensemble below:

Obi with cranes and chrysanthemum motifs, komon (?) kimono,  kanzashi (hairstick), and  obi jime (cords)
For wearing under this kimono, I took the time this morning to temporarily tack down a haneri (half-collar) onto one of my juban (kimono-shaped undergarment) so that the color would coordinate a little better where it showed at the neckline.

All told, I think it took me a little over an hour to get dressed, and that was not without some frustration. I don't have any trouble getting into kimono anymore, and I feel that I've gotten quite good at getting the ohashori (the extra fabric that is taken up when getting kimono to fall to the proper length for wearing) in place. What gave me the most consternation was the obi. Usually, I have someone around to help and all I really need to do is stand and hold things in place. This morning, however, I had no one around and had to dress myself entirely.

Maru obi are heavy! All that brocade! It really took a great deal of perseverance in getting everything in place. Even when I had everything on, I wasn't really happy with the overall effect. The ensemble itself was quite lovely, but all I saw were the little details that kept it from being a really clean presentation. I wanted to look nice for my friend, and slightly skewed collars are not nice. As I was fussing in the mirror, I remembered that the only person who was going to see all of these 'mistakes' was me. Anyone else who was looking would simply see a lovely ensemble.

This is a lesson that I need to remember for myself more often, and one that I would like to remind anyone who considers going out in kimono, whether for special occasions or because they want to bring kimono into their every-day life. People will appreciate your efforts, especially when you dress with respect for your garments and for the occasion.

This is the front view. I didn't get these until after I got home from seeing my coworker off, so everything is definitely not as neat as I would like!

This is the taiko musubi, or drum bow that is appropriate for this kind of obi. Under ideal conditions, it would not look skewed as it does here, but would hang with the folds parallel to the ground. My roommate kindly pointed out that geisha's obi do this too, and that I shouldn't feel too bad about it.

1 comment:

  1. It is correct to say that "sayounara" is the appropriate thing to say for a permanent goodbye, it is also used if one does not expect to see the person that they are speaking to until they have turned a page in their life. With Tori going off to school in another state, sayounara would be appropriate. But I like the idea of a less long-term goodbye when hoping to see a friend again sooner.