Our Kimono de Jack group decided to hit up a local convention last month. We only went on Friday due to work and other adult responsibilities but it was a nice excuse to get dressed up. This summer in Ohio has been pretty mild with cooler temperatures and lots of rain but of course the weekend of the convention was hot and humid. Quat and I puttered around the convention center looking in the dealers room and artist alley, went to lunch at North Market and then met up with some of the members of The Northwest Ohio Kimono Society for dinner at Sushi Ting. Later in the evening Quat and I went back to help Kerry from Ohio Kimono unload and set up her booth in the dealers room. It was a long day but it’s always worth it to get to wear kimono!
Last weekend the Northwest Ohio Kimono Society hosted a kimono fashion show up in Temperance, MI. Our Kimono de jack group went to help out and model some outfits. It was a really fun experience and getting to hang out with so many kimono enthusiasts is always a treat. There really were a spectacular array of outfits ranging from yukata all the way to furisode. Unfortunately we had no male models, so no men’s wear was represented. One of the models did bring her little girl though so we did have an example of children’s wear. After the initial show we answered questions from the audience pertaining to kimono and it’s history. There was also a raffle, which I was able to donate a haori to that I’ll never wear. I feel good about it going to someone who will appreciate it. Afterwards we got to go outside and take some photos with a nice camera set up. Katrina, our hostess had a casual after party at her home and we spent the rest of the evening enjoying good food, drinks and new found friends. This experience has really motivated me to try and do something similar down here in Columbus. I’d love to see if we could get backing from JASCO and maybe get a really cool venue to do it in. I’m probably just dreaming, but it’s a nice dream.
I’m not sure who provided the advertisement poster but it was nicely done. I wanted to grab one of the smaller flyers before we left but didn’t get a chance. There is a small newspaper article floating around somewhere about the event as well.
Group photo credit goes to Ohio Kimono.
Every year over Memorial day weekend the City of Columbus, Ohio holds the Asian Festival downtown at Franklin Park. The event is free to attend and there are many live performances from different Asian cultures, tons of ethnic food, a informational pavilion on Asian countries and a open air market. It has been a couple of years since I’ve gone so Quat and I decided to make it a De Jack event and dressed up in yukata for the experience.
Overall the day was pretty good although we did have a mishap where Quat blew out the straps on one of her geta while we were walking in the opening ceremonies parade. That involved a 45 minute trip back to the car by taking the buses that were running for the event. I picked up a cheap uchiwa with The Great WAve off Kanagawa by Hokusai on it but mostly just spent my money on food. After spending nearly all day at the festival we met up with Kelsey at Sushi Ting for dinner and I stuffed my face with a mango roll and some cold Soba~ delicious!
I must confess though I’m always a tad bit disappointed with the Asian Festival. Don’t get me wrong, it is a fun event and brings cultural diversity to the community. However there were several things that bothered me and I feel like they need to be said.
So during the opening ceremonies parade many different performance groups and people representing Asian countries from around the world participate. Every single group except ours had people either from that country or descendants representing. So basically we had three Caucasian girls dressed in wafuku representing Japan… When we went to the info pavilion we got accosted by an older woman who said we should be in the parade and she linked us up with another girl who was in kimono. We were all glad to walk in the parade but it was a little sad that if we had not agreed to there would have been no one representing Japan at all! This surprises me a little since there is a fairly large Japanese population in Columbus. According to my friend this didn’t just happen this year but has happened in years past where no one is representing Japan in the parade.
Secondly, out of the entire open air market there was only one stall that was selling Japanese goods. Wait…there was an anime booth as well. So, ok two out of probably at least 60 or so vendors! The one stall that I got my uchiwa at also did not have a lot of merchandise either. This, shockingly enough is an improvement. When I went two years ago no one was selling anything even remotely Japanese related. I’m not sure why this happens but it makes me sad, so here we have another area where Japanese culture is barely represented.
One of the biggest draws to the Asian Festival every year besides the food is the live performances. It is a chance for people to get to experience traditional music and dance from across the globe, which is pretty cool. Again though I was disappointed in the fact that out of all the performance groups there were only two who represented Japan. The first was a local taiko kids group. They are usually there every year but only ever play two pieces. I’m not sure why that is but with all the set up time to get the drums in place it seems a shame for them to do such a short set. The set up time is literally longer than their performance. The second group which I was looking forward to seeing was a dance group and they were supposed to go right after the taiko performers. Instead they got switched around for the Chinese Opera group which had already done a performance earlier in the day. I don’t know why the switch happened but I watched the group of dancers get off the bus like 3 hours before their set so it wasn’t like they were not on time. Also the taiko and dance group only had one performance each day while every other group had at least two slot times, sometimes three!
I’m not sure if there is some political bs going on behind the scenes or what or if it’s just due to some unfortunate circumstances but like I said before it does make me sad. I’d be curious to see if anyone else who went noticed these things. I would really love to see more representation for Japan at the Asian Festival.
We did manage to get some pictures even though the sun was so bright and a lot of them look washed out.
We did our photo booth gig for them again this year. It was a lot of fun and we were very busy all day. We were unable to get a lot of photos but luckily my mom, sister and niece stopped by and took some. I even got to dress my sister and niece in yukata for the first time! My niece loved the experience. I’m not sure what possessed me but I decided it would be a good idea to wear and work all day in kimono for this event. I wore the yellow cotton komon I got in my Yamatoku box and borrowed the obi from Quat. I did not wear juban underneath but just my kimono slip and Quat talked me out of wearing geta so I just had on my flip flops. I got pretty warm rushing about dressing and undressing people and had to change back into normal clothes about an hour before the end. It was still worth it though! I actually got in a conversation with one lady about her kimono and the fact that she never wears it because she feels it’s too fancy. She seemed to like the idea that kimono can be casual as well. We met a bunch of great people interested in kimono and our de jack group…sooooo maybe we’ll have some new members soon? I also talked with an organizer of the Japan American Society of Central Ohio who is very interested in working with our Columbus Kimono project. I’m super excited about that! Um…geez…so much stuff I can’t quite remember. Anyway have some photos!
A few weeks ago I spent some of my tax return money on a box of twenty vintage kimono from the online vendor Yamatoku. I had no idea what I would be getting but after seeing some of the things other Immortal Geisha members got I decided to try my luck. It was really fun getting this giant box of kimono to look through. I’ve had a lot going on so it has taken me some time to sort through and do some maintenance on the pieces that needed it. Overall I was really happy with the things I got. Only a handful of pieces I either didn’t like or were unwearable so I felt like it was money well spent. I still have quite the stack to go through to make a decision to wash or hang out to freshen them up. I really can’t wait to wear some of these and I now definitely need some fancier obi.
This sweet little cotton komon has two super tiny pin spot stains that are unnoticeable when wearing. Aside from that it’s in perfect condition. I wore this over the past weekend to the JSO Spring festival. I’ll have an update on that soon once I get pictures.
I finished cleaning and ironing this piece today. It’s a really beautiful mint green lined komon with subtle woven buildings and trees. It’s a shame it didn’t pick up in this photograph but there is a iridescence to this piece that I just love. Sadly my cleaning methods did not completely remove any of the stains but they have lightened and are small so I would put this piece is wearable condition. It is also a touch on the small side around the hips but I think I can make it work.
This blue komon with fans had some staining too so I took a chance and threw it in the wash with some woolight. The stains were almost all gone and the few that are left are so small and light they are practically invisible. I’m so happy I was able to salvage this piece since it fits so well and had no other damage.
Over the weekend our de jack group got together to try our hand at making some yummy Japanese food. We got dressed, went to our local Japanese market, then the bakery and returned to my house to get started.
This is the only picture I have of the three of us together, and it’s from the back no less! A little about our outfits: I worn my spring themed pink komon with a white and yellow checked hanhaba. Unfortunately it is so light colored the pattern often doesn’t show up in pictures. I believe that this is my most accurate seasonal coordination since both pieces have sakura on them. I am definitely looking forward to next month and seeing some flowers!
Quat, in the middle there, wore her new summer weight komon. I know it had bunnies and maybe moons? It was really beautiful though and had very interested texture to the fabric. She paired it with a blue and white hakata hanhaba obi.
Kelsey wore a deep blue yukata with chidori pattern and a darker red hakata hanhaba obi. I must say I was a little jealous of Kelsey’s outfit. I’ve worn that yukata before and it is soooooo comfy!
Here Kelsey is trying her hand at making maki, or sushi rolls. You can see she has her sleeves tied back to keep them out of the way. Quat is in the background taking photos. You can see the pattern on her kimono a little bit better here.
Here are the fruits of our labors. California roll with crab, avocado and cucumber.
Monster onigiri! I have a couple of rice ball presses but I just couldn’t get them to work this time so we sort of improvised and got these. Not very pretty but they were super tasty. They were made using seaweed seasoning and filled with tako, or octopus.
Here are the deserts we got from Belle’s bakery. Mango mouse, fruit tart, red bean roll cake, chocolate raspberry cake and a coffee flavored mouse. They were super yummy!
I hope you enjoyed the photos of our little get together! We did manage to get some video of our adventure as well so as soon as I can I’m going to do some editing and get that up on my you tube channel. I’ll provide the link when that happens. Also, I’m very excited about the next few months as we have kimono plans through June!