Saturday, December 18, 2010

My furisode day and be@rbricks night.

Here she is, my furisode and all it's glory. My kimono truly made me feel like the "Belle of the Ball". I am sure I got looks, but luckily, unless I make myself notice, I have never been one to notice if people are staring or sharing hateful vibes. As soon as I arrived I found another kimono enthusiast. She approached me and we discussed kimono for a while.  I was really happy to have found someone that shared my passion on the island until I received a, "I don't know if you know what you are wearing?"  I quickly told her my side of the furisode story and she replied, "yeah it's okay since you are a foreigner."  Exactly, and all the compliments I received from the locals, be they Okinawan or Japanese, I think I did pretty darn good.  Many of you know I have had a love for this culture as soon as I found out about Japan, I have a love for Korea more, but living in Japan is something Mark and I dreamed of doing together and we are happy God grants us the ability to share the experience with Him, each other, and all of you.  I give credit to a few people for this outfit. First off, Mark for totally going along with all of this and assisting in kimono research and Yoriko-San for saying I should go ahead and get the kimono.  My husband's coworker Naomi-San.  I can NOT say enough about this woman.  She originally was finding out info for me on wear I could borrow other pieces for my kimono with quickly turned in to, "wait, Talya, if you are going to wear this more than once, why don't we find somewhere to buy the rest of your pieces for cheap?"  This quickly turned in to her acting on my behalf with the people I bought my furisode from, World Friend Produce, Kimono Takikawa.  Here is their link with some facts about the different style of kimono. .  Naomi-San gave them a budget of $200, she asked me what am I looking to spend and I told her.  In the end it cost me $236, and I am missing some pieces that I will collect.  For the party Naomi even let me borrow the additional pieces I would need.  She also called when we were worried that we hadn't heard from them and she even politely let them know she was upset that they were taking so long and that I need my kimono back and I think 1 day later they said it was ready to be mailed back.  Mark and I quickly wanted to do something for Naomi-San, she did so much for me, she has done so much for Mark as well.  She us no, she does it because when she was in the states, someone did things to help her and now she will do the same.  Part of us wanted to give her something anyways, but 1. we could always pay her back my helping someone else as she has helped us, and 2. No means no!  No does not mean maybe or ask me until I change my mind.  Also, if you get a Japanese person a gift then they will feel they need to get you one in return.  Mark works with amazing people. 

Now let's discuss how it felt to be in this kimono...I was told you have to walk like THIS, not THIS, you have to sit like THIS, you have to move like THIS.  I thought I would need to be careful or looking too American, which I am sure I did anyways.  The kimono wouldn't even allow me to move like an American with my long steps even if I TRIED!.  As I was being wrapped in and cinched together by Mama-San, I could feel my back becoming straight as it should be without me hunching over.  It corrects you posture without you doing a thing other than getting dressed!  Mama-San's daughter joked with us, saying, "It's like a hot dog wrapped in a bun, ne?"  We agreed, but more like if the hot dog was wrapped in a straight jacket.  Mama-San asked if I was okay.  I believe I was.  She dressed me, put my clothes in the box I had my kimono in, got my shoes ready for me to step in as well as put my other shoes away.  She also did my hair before and I was so excited to see my hair is now long enough to go up again!  I paid her, thanked her, and then it was time for Mark to escort me in to the car. BUM BUM BUM.  I read magazine, well looked at magazines and figured what the pictures were saying, so I knew how I would need to get in the car.  Our car is low, but I plopped myself in and had already given myself enough room before I attempted this.  What I was NOT prepared for is that the obi was so tight around my ribs that when I sat down and my body was settling, I couldn't take full breaths!  I started to yawn from lack of oxygen and could only take short yawns so my body made me yawn even more and I soon became light headed.  That also had help from the fact I han't eaten since breakfast.  I had a cheesestick to tie my over till dinner, we stopped by work to show off to Naomi-San and others, and then I had to accomplish my next feet....the bathroom.  I am sure some of you guess who that would go.  You pull it back in layers the best you can and tuck your sleeves or throw them over your shoulder and do you best not to make a mess.  That part was NOT glamourus as all.  You have to put your layers back together as well.  No fear though.  It loosened up as time went on.  They tie it that tight because they know that it will shift on you and in order for it to stay together, you wrapped it up like a corset!  Mark carried my plate so I didn't have to walk with it when it came dinner time, he served me as well as my movement was limited and I was beyond careful even if my kimono is washable.  I was unable to eat a lot and after a while I become tired and so was my body!

What have I learned?  Obviously furisode is not your everyday kimono, but I knew that, you don't even wear it to tea ceremonies.  It is strightly a party thing.  Christmas, New Years, balls, and weddings.  I am not even sure I can wear this one on my birthday.  Make sure I have an escape plan!  If I don't want the night to end, bring a change of clothes because after 6 hours of wearing the furisode, you are done.  Don't plan to eat or drink much.  You don't have room for food and going to the bathroom becomes a necessary evil.  Was it worth it?  You are darn right it was, I can't wait to learn to dress myself and buy more kimono, different ones that can be worn on different occassions.  I saw the cutest kimono and obi with a cat on it!!!  The obsession grows!

I am long winded today, sorry.

BE@RBRICKS!  I have NO clue what these even were or that they were going on sale until I got a message from a friend to look out for them.  I have looked for them, Marked helped me, and they were a topic of discussion in our house for a while now.  During certain seasons, drink companies will put little trinkets with their beverages and Suntory, who has the right to Pepsi products has decided to honor Gundam by having asked the creator of be@rbricks (bearbricks) to make some cellphone straps with bears made to look like Gundams.  Gundam is a popular anime in the states and in Japan that has created shows in the 70s until today.  Mark and I looked and I noticed that in some pictures when they have done these promotions before the Pepsi has not been in the refridgerated section.  So, last time we didn't see them, Mark simply showed the Family Mart clerk the picture, asked about the bears in Japanese and he walked right back to the back room and opened up a case and we had our pick.  We bought the case.  They were sold out on sites that had people preordering them so mark and I thought we hit a jackpot, but alas, I may not buy too many of the cases as it doesn't seem like they will be worth the same as the Devil Wears Prade be@rbrick, but we shall see.

Well, Mark and I are off to volunteer at the orphange and spend some time with some kiddos they may not get much attention.  Luckily Christmas doesn't mean much in Japan so they aren't reminded they have no family in what is our holiday season.  We are really excited to get the honor of volunteering our time to bring some smiles.  I also would like to take some time to honor Toys for Tots.  So many charities that we give money to out there we may or may not see where it goes, but Toys for Tots is not asking for money, simply a toy.  I think some people may shy away saying I can't afford another gift, but I would say, you would be surprised at what little can bring a smile to a child that has nothing.  Mark and I bought the cutest stuffed bear for a little boy or girl on Black Friday to drop in the box.  I heard on the radio and didn't realize, they give presents to teens as well.  13-17 were the group most needed.  I bought a pink purse that I would use myself!  I thank God we could do something like that this years as some know times have been hard and without children of our own it's easier but again, why worried about spending so much money when for some many that have not, it truly is the thought that counts.

Omedetou Christmas from the Scott's
(I now know a Christmas song in Japanese, I may post me singing it.)

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