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. (*^^*)

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