Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kimono Hunting

So in my Casual meet Cocktail post I was bitching about the lack of millinery supplies available in Japan but I will be the first to admit that the fabrics in Japan are better than any I have ever seen.
In fact they have a whole area of Tokyo know as Fabric town with masses of fabric filling shops and spilling out onto the street. The shop I frequent has 7 floors of shelf upon shelf of different fabrics and while I would quite happily use them all I have forced myself to stay true to my eco self and use only organic, eco friendly or recycled goods. Thus my visits to Fabric Town are more often than not window shopping exercises and I am forced to roam the little alleyways of middle of nowhere towns where snippets of pre-war Japan can still be found and where second hand kimono shops lurk like Aladdin's caves waiting to be discovered. Except in Shibata that is. Here in the very first place I lived in Japan, standing proud right in the center of the main street slowly engulfing the pavement and shops to either side is...actually I have no idea what the name is as the sign is hidden under a mass of silk, baskets, bags ...
I had visited this shop many, many times (most of my sisters christmas prezzies from Japan originated here)before I even realised there was an upstairs full of antique kimono. The little lady who runs the shop seems to have a serious collecting problem and the shop resembles what once was her living room and has turned into a shop out of necessity to get rid of things. It is here I spend hours on my knees on the cold tatami floor racking through pile after pile of kimono looking for just the right fabric to turn into a hat.
I thought you might like to have a wee look around too...

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