Thursday, October 04, 2007

Juni Hitoe

WARNING; This post has nothing to do with Anderson or AC360. Just my personal experience.

I had a chance to wear "juni hitoe," or twelve layered kimono. This is a traditional dress for women in higher ranks more than 1,000 years ago. Still this is a formal kimono worn by imperial family when they get married. Normal citizens can wear it, but only a few people choose.

A department store in my city had Kyoto Festival. As a part of events, they ask their customers to wear that kind of kimono. 6 people out of 70 had a chance to wear in front of audience and I was one of them!

Thirty minutes before the show begins, they started putting make-ups on my face. They were pretty rough! I felt as if I were a bun being applied some liquid eggs with a brush.

The way they "draw" eyebrows and lips is so unique. They only draw only the center of brows or lips. Those days, a typical "beautiful woman" looks like this.

Not at all beautiful, isn't she?

Anyway, my make up was like this. I definitely would have looked cuter with my regular makeup, but I could do nothing but comply.

The trousers-looking clothes is called "hakama." It is very long, and that is worn by people in very high rank. Red one is usually worn only by married women. I am not married, but this is the one they had and again, I had to comply.

(Ugh, my face looks even more round and I look awful!!)
You can see a notebook around my stomach, can you? In those days, women usually did not let their face seen by men. If they hid their face all the time, how could men decide whether or not she was "beautiful?"
At night, a woman who is looking for a husband First, they see how a woman wear this kimono. The color choice or combination of kimono, and the quality of them told men how sophisticated the lady is. When a men found a nice lady, he gave her a poem. A woman did not speak, but write back a poem to him using the notebook.

They usually hold a fan with her so that they could constantly hide their face.

And I hid my face.
Yeah! This is the nicest picture! But sadly, this is too small...



Délie said...

Wow! Such a great experience! Thanks for sharing this with us, Mio! It's so nice. Japanese culture is so amazing and sophisticated! Stupid question, but was it not too loud to wear all these clothes?
I like the story about the notebook.

Nice pictures, Mio!

Nadine said...

Hi Mio,
That story was just fascinating!! I am glad you shared it! You did look good even under all that makeup. I agree that the culture is amazing.

Pittsburgh, PA

PS - Keep up the great blog for Anderson.

beaslma said...

you look great, such an honor to... good job.

copperfish said...

It's a nice and informative post. Thanks for sharing it. You looked "kawaii"...LOL!

mio_bella said...

It was a really great experience. The clothes including the wig weigh 20 kg! It must have been really inconvenient for women to move around.

Even I found our ancient culture amazing. As for how I look..., everybody I know bursted into laughter!

Thank you for your nice comment. It must be "my" kimono, not I, that looks great!

You've learned how to use "kawaii!" Thanks for a bit of Japanese compliment!

Pati Mc said...

Dear Mio,

I think that you look beautiful and that kimono is just amazing. I cannot imagine how you could move in all of those layers of fabric.

Your culture is so beautiful and full of meaning. I so appreciate you sharing this experience with us. What an honor. Thank you!

mio_bella said...

I didn't move much after I put everything on. I don't think they moved frequently. They constantly sat writing poems, eating nice thing, chatting with friends. How unhealthy!

You're a make-up artist and you can easily see how odd my face is! Actually, when I showed this to my brother, he burst into laughter and kept on laughing for a long time saying how strange I look!