Umeno Okiya Maiko Hikizuri

Completely unexpected I got a really special birthday present.
My friend gave me a Maiko Hikizuri of her collection!!!

I was shocked! 
She knew I loved this Hiki since she bought it about two years ago.
It has been listed on Yahoo Japan together with some other Hikizuri. 
Some research on the internet showed that these kimono belonged to the Umeno Yakata/ Okiya of Kamishichiken and have been worn until recent years.

Closeup of the pattern.

There are pictures on their blog where Umeraku-san is wearing this kimono in July and August 2010.



I have examined it closely and am a little bit surprised that this kimono is somehow in a 'bad' condition with many obvious stains, discolourations, etc and is really worn off. So I almost can't believe that this kimono has been worn by a Maiko-san until recently.

I own a Maiko Hikizuri that has been property of Mi No Yae Okiya of Gion Kobu that is still in almost perfect condition with almost no stains but nevertheless has been sorted out of their collection

Don't missunderstand me. It is still a very charming and beautiful piece but I always thought a Maikos appearance  has to be 'perfect'. I don't want to blame the Okiya too for using this piece so long. They might have had their reasons and I really don't understand much of the business and daily life of an okasan. Maybe they only used this Hikizuri because they had 4/5 Maiko at that time and maybe somehow run out of Hikizuri, especially for the summer.

Let me show you some of the stains to make clear what I mean.

The front seam. Left side lays folded over the right side. Notice the colour difference.

The front side of the left sleeve. Many brownish stains.

The upper front of the kimono. Maybe you can notice the colour difference especially of the left and right sleeve.

I know the red stains are very common on worn Hikizuri, especially on the summer kimono. They are from sweating and the red cloth (forgot the name) which is worn between kimono and obi. The red stains won't be visible when the Hikizuri is worn correctly.

Stained as it is, it will be a loved piece of my collection and surely match perfect with my new Darari Obi. (*^^*)


My new beauty

Sometimes life goes it's own way.

After the loss of my beautiful golden Darari Maiko Obi two years ago (actually it has been 'stolen') I was on the search for a new one.
And everyone who collects things Maiko/Geiko related -Hikizuri, Kanzashi, etc- knows how crazy prices for them became the last years.

I bought my Darari five years ago for the price of 300€ which was a bargain. The Obi was in almost perfect condition. 
I made the mistake and 'borrowed' it to someone living in Japan who actually cheated me with a very good story and didn't give it back until now.

So I am still angry with myself that I didn't take care enough.

I am/ was on the search for a new Darari since then.
Today I found a wounderful piece on Ichiroya that will go perfectly with my blue Ro Dragonfly Maiko Hikizuri.

It was listed as a Maikos Ro Maru Obi possibly worn by a Maiko.
The length is perfect - over 6m long - so maybe the real deal or switched from a normal fukuro to a Maru Obi for a henshin studio. Considering the 'bad' condition I think this might actually have been used in a henshin studio for some time.

I'm not sure with the kamon/ crest on the obi. I know this crest existed in Kyoto sometime but don't know if it is still used today by an okiya.

Real deal or not - I'm more than happy that this piece will find it's way to my home soon. It will help heal my wound a little bit.
I almost gave up searching for a Darari. It's almost impossible to find one nowadays. And if you find one the prices are ridiculous high.

This beauty was affordable and not already sold. As it would have been waiting just for me.
So sometimes life goes it's own way.

I will combine it with my Ro Maiko Haneri I also bought on Ichiroya some time ago.


Milka and Oreo

I have been to Munich last week. I visited a Shop which sells baby diapers made from cotton and placed an order.
After that we visited Sea Life in the Olympic Park. Entrance fee was quite expensive, but it was really worth its money.
After that we went Shopping in the City. Near the world famous Viktualienmarkt is the Schrannenhalle where you can buy gourmet food from Käfer and so on.
And there Is also a shop of Milka included. It sells almost all things  available from Milka. Perfect for chocolate lovers. We bought some chocolate because it is cheaper than in regular shops. I noticed that the company Mondelez which owns Milka also owns Oreo. They also had Oreo Latte available and I really had to try it.
It wasn't bad but I didn't taste much of the typicall Oreo Cookies. Was more like a chocolate Latte.
If you ever visit Munich and love chocolate Don't miss the Milka Shop in the Schrannenhalle.


Tsukimi 2014

I hope you all have a nice Tsukimi (moon viewing) today.

This year I'm not going to cook the special dishes like I did last year.

I'm sharing a picture of one of our Japan souvenirs from this years journey instead:

It's a Noren (door curtain) which I got for a really good price in Takayama.

It found its place on the door to our balcony and it has got the perfect motive for september and Tsukimi.