Sep 30, 2017
Japanese Culture: What is Kitsuke?
Kitsuke can be defined as the art of wearing the traditional Japanese garment, the kimono. The objective of Kitsuke is to showcase the artistic designs of the kimono and admire the work of the person that did the dressing. Kitsuke differs from western fashion in the fact that it does not rely on a curvaceous shape at all and the goal is not for the individual to look good, but to display the art of the kimono.
Kimonos are worn for multiple reasons including, but not limited to graduations and weddings. There are also different types of kimonos! For example there are designs made for women who married or single and there is a kimono to be warn during the summer months, which is called a Yukata.
I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Kitsuke! It was so much fun, interesting and I learned a lot! I was just surprised that they had everything in my size as I do not come standard size for Japanese sizing. It was a good challenge and good practice for the Sensei to teach her student on different body types.
We got to strut our stuff when we were out taking pictures. I was worried because I didn't know how people would receive us being the fact that we are not Japanese! It was SO AWESOME!!!!!!!! Everyone was complimenting and telling us how beautiful we were (someone was translating for us) and one older gentlemen even said that he likes when foreigners dress in kimono because it's so beautiful! Everyone embraced us and admired the work of everyone involved. It took over 30mins for myself alone because they had to do a lot of work as I come a little/LOT more "husky" as one of the Sensei's stated. It was a good time and I was so happy to help and be a model! It was a process and I didn't know how much actually went into it!
Everyone's response showed me just how important and special kimono is here. To describe the feeling it's like being around your family the first time when they see you in your prom gown or tux, but x10!!!!! Not only was my kimono in my favorite color (blue), but I learned that the design came from it being tie-dyed! How crazy and cool is that?
The Japanese LOVE to share their culture with others and they take great pride in EVERYTHING that they do! They are so detail oriented, kind and courteous! I also notice that they love to learn about other cultures and embrace new ideas/ideals while maintaining their tradition, balance! At the end of the Kitsuke session we exchanged gifts as another way to share our cultures. This is an experience that I will forever cherish and I would definitely do it again!