"Welcome to Japan, folks. The local time is . . . tomorrow."
- from 30 Minutes Over Tokyo, The Simpsons, Season 10

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yukata Fun

For our fifth wedding anniversary, my husband bought me a yukata (or a summer kimono). While he was at the store, he made sure he had everything, including the yukata, the obi (belt), the geta (wooden sandals), and a purse. Only when we searched on the internet for how to put a yukata on, we found out that we were missing the sashes to tie the yukata in place, as well as a slip/petticoat type thing to go under the yukata.

Luckily, one of my husband's students is a beautician and often helps women put on their yukata and kimono. Actually, I've heard that many women don't know how to put one on properly so they usually have someone help them.

We met with my husband's student Saturday night. She had a petticoat I could wear, as well as the sashes to hold the yukata in place. As she put the yukata on me, my husband videotaped it, so if we ever have difficulties, or we're back home in the US, he'll be able to watch it and figure out what he's doing. She taught him how to tie the easiest bow, or the Butterfly, which he said was a lot like tying a bowtie (if only he actually knew how to tie one). Lastly, she stuck a cardboard piece in front, inside the obi to make it look a lot smoother. Also, since it was my first time wearing geta, she advised me to wear the tabi (socks that are divided between the big toe and all the small toes) my husband picked up so I wouldn't get a blister between my toes, even though they never wear socks with yukata.

I was just about ready to ask my husband's student where I could buy the sashes and whatnot, when she said she was giving us everything but the petticoat. So hopefully when my husband and I go out shopping on Sunday, we'll be able to find one for me.

Also, this last week I found out that both his parents and my mom will be coming to Japan for a week in August. So I'm looking forward to their visit, especially since it means they'll be bringing Vivi with them. But I figured at least one of our moms will want to buy a yukata (since they're a lot cheaper than kimono), and now we know all the stuff you really need to have everything, including a video of how to put it on.

We were also lucky because this weekend there is a firefly festival going on in Yamaguchi. We went to a fireworks festival in Ajisu on our anniversary (May 17th), but I was somewhat disappointed I didn't get to wear my yukata. But after getting my yukata put on, we went to the firefly festival. We might go back tonight so I can play the "fish game" where you use a flimsy or quickly dissolving scoop to try to catch a fish or two. Most people can't actually do it. Though I have a student who caught a bunch of fish playing this game. But my husband told me if I caught a fish playing that game, he would buy me an aquarium to keep them in (pretty handy for keeping fish, neh?)

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