All things Japanese

by | 3 October 2022 | Gainsborough, Social Group, WI

Lea Women’s Institute had an open evening to welcome fashionistas to learn about The Art of Kimonos.

Japan is a fascinating country of rich culture and one of its most widely recognised symbols is the clothing item which in translation means ‘thing to wear’. Presented by Jennifer Ichikawa on her tour ‘All Things Japanese’, the kimono has delicate patterns and sumptuous colours which convey secret meanings in every stitch.

These days, kimonos are worn on special occasions such as the traditional Shinto wedding. The bride wears a ‘tsunokakushi’, which is a large hat designed to hide the horns of jealousy. On New Year’s Day, young single ladies attend work wearing a kimono in the hope of attracting a husband. Men regard the kimono as highly sensuous, and a fleeting glimpse of ankle or wrist could set the pulses racing.

The accompanying footwear is a flip-flop smaller than the ladies foot causing her to totter in the petite steps which are so iconically associated with Japanese women. By the end of the talk, the ladies were learned enough to be able to identify the age and marital status of the wearer just by the length of the garment’s sleeves. The complexity of the many alluring layers literally left you in knots of woven silk. Maybe this is why women go to the loo in pairs because managing the kimono needs a good friend with a second pair of hands!

The next Lea Women’s Institute meeting is a Harvest Supper on Thursday 6th October, 7.30pm, at Lea Village Hall, DN21 5JA. In addition to tasty offerings, the auspicious occasion will announce the winner of the home-grown carrot competition! Ladies welcome.