The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

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The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:35 am

NAME: polinah


The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear by Norio Yamanaka
Language: :eng English
Amazon Carries this Book

*long link edited by Iyolin*

I saw this book in my schools library and I find that it is actually pretty useful... I recommend this book to beginners like myself who have never worn a kimono and are looking for al ot of answers on what is needed for kitsuke and what size things need to be.

I haven't really sat down to read it but it seems to have a lot of helpful topics such as How to Put on a Kimono (from preperation of the han eri, putting on body pads, to the final proper appearance) Kimono Care (cleaning and folding) Kimono Etiquette (posture and movement) How to put on an obi aid (they talk about the magical obi aid, it looks like a biyosugata to me but the biyosugata is the only aid i know of) Different types of Obi (and their proper measurements)

Other topics include Haori and Accessories, a brief history, and A chapter on kimono that should covere weaving, dyeing, standard size, and some more things, oh and kimono for men and children

I'll post some pages when I have some time. I have 4 more weeks until my fall term ends

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:36 am

NAME: Rachel_gs


This was my very first kimono book that I ever bought. Its almost a kitsuke beginner's bible for me. I would HIGHLY recommend every beginner either have this book in their library at home or have regular and reliable access to it. My only complaint it that they don't spend enough time talking about the helpful accessories(eg they only talk about the "magic aid") but its a minor thing and I know they can't talk about ALL of them or the book would be as long as the Oxford Dictionary....

HeeHee! My copy is all dog eared cause I read it so much!

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:36 am

NAME: bebemochi


I'm saying this as a person who is practically illiterate in Japanese. If you like Yamanaka's book, please go buy a Japanese kitsuke magazine with good pictures. You will be blown away by how much you're missing. Even the cheapest little Y1500 magazine is better than his book.

When you see how much more clearly laid out all the steps are in most Japanese kitsuke books, you will wonder why you ever bothered muddling through with the Book of Kimono.

Yamanaka is the founder of the Sodo School of Kitsuke. In Book of Kimono, he only addresses the "aids" that he has created (like the biyosugata, tsuke eri, and two-piece juban with velcro sleeves), while ignoring traditional methods of tying obi and putting on juban.

He over-complicates everything, and the illustrations are not good enough to keep up with the written descriptions.

I think writing a review of a book you haven't actually sat down to read, polinah, was a bad idea. The text of this book is outright snooty and discouraging in many places. Many have accused Yamanaka of being intentionally complicated in order to perpetrate the concept that Japanese culture is too difficult for foreigners to understand.

I was living in Japan and buying kitsuke magazines from the local department store to supplement my classes -- I bought the Book of Kimono hoping that it would provide helpful instruction in English so I could more clearly understand what was going on in class. I found it to be so poorly explained and badly illustrated that it actually confused me. Admittedly, I was probably learning a different school of kitsuke, but the confusion did not spring from minor details like what types of knot to use. I put Yamanaka's book away and haven't looked at it since. I've relied entirely on kitsuke magazines that I can't even read. I think that should tell you a lot about the text of the Book of Kimono.

If I was recommending a kitsuke book to a beginner, this is the absolute last one I would recommend.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:38 am

NAME: polinah

bebemochi wrote:I think writing a review of a book you haven't actually sat down to read, polinah, was a bad idea.

please forgive me im not trying to argue, I just want to state my view instead of looking like an idiot...

I have read the kimono wearing portion of this book as well as the magic obi aid section, and kimono etiquette and cleaning section... I just didnt want to say that I have read the book since I have only read a third of the book and to me thats not reading a book.

Now I admit i have never worn a kimono yet since i'm still getting my first kitsuke items together... but from what i read this book seemed pretty straight foward. Edit: We are all welcome to our opinions

Maybe later when i attempt my kitsuke i will agree but for how it seemed useful and if not for kitsuke at least its nice to know what things are called and what sizes obis should be... i was miss informed a fukuro obi should be 400cm this book says 420cm ..

Plus from reading alot on the biyosugata and chikara nuno threads alot of people reference this book I think it deserved a review.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:38 am

NAME: Tahanala


what sizes obis should be... I was miss informed a fukuro obi should be 400cm this book says 420cm ..
Actually an obi "should be" the size that fits its purpose for the people it was meant for. If 400cm works well, there is no needs for the additional 20cm. This depends a lot on the physiology of the wearer; given my food-love, I might "need" a 500 cm obi, whereas a tiny pre-WWII woman could have gotten away with 380cm.
Moreover, I see 400cm obi, quality ones, popping up all the time on eBay. I would assume that traditional obi makers know their subject.

I haven't read the book, but from what I have gathered from several members whose kitsuke I admire (plus Liza Dalby, incidentally,) the author seems to create artificial distinctions and "knowledge" that allow him (her?) to put on a snobbish attitude... and sell his own products and method for a fatter price.
Now of course, I might change my mind completely if I ever have the opportunity to read it!

However, stating that a very common, long installed, and widely spread feature is "wrong", seems a bit overblown. Saying she found out from her experience that 6 more inches makes things easier and tidier would be another matter.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:39 am

NAME: bebemochi


polinah wrote:I just didnt want to say that I have read the book since I have only read a third of the book and to me thats not reading a book. ...

Edit: We are all welcome to our opinions

Yes, we most certainly are. Like my opinion that you should have read the whole book before reviewing it. Your reviewing it before you've completed reading it is simply not appropriate. IG members deserve reviews that cover the entirety of the book being reviewed.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:41 am

NAME: U no Hana

bebemochi wrote:He over-complicates everything, and the illustrations are not good enough to keep up with the written descriptions.
........
If I was recommending a kitsuke book to a beginner, this is the absolute last one I would recommend.
I agree completely with bebemochi. I bought it thinking it would help me in refreshing the two only kitsuke "lessons" I had lots of years ago. But instead of being helpful, I found it really discorageous. I couldn't understand the instructions for obi tying, and, as far as I could remember, it wasn't as difficult when my Japanese friends showed me how to did it.  :evil:

Then I decided to buy a Japanese kitsuke book, with lots of pics... and it was a great surprise how easy I found the instructions (although I could't read anything) compared with the "Kimono Book" ones. ÂÂ
I can't say I love this book nor recommend it.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:41 am

NAME: sweet'nsassy


I also have to agree with bebemochi. I found this book to be very discouraging personally. The text itself is very snobbish, as if these rules and guidelines are written in stone and absolutely must be followed on penalty of death. He's very picky about certain aspects of kitsuke that I found to be completely ridiculous; i.e. married women should have a U shaped collar and unmarried should have a V shaped collar! That's the first time I've ever heard of a rule like that. And the illustrations were very confusing. I found more useful instructions online (including at this wonderful website). Nowadays, I only bother looking through it to look at the color photos of different musubi that were included. The one good thing that I can say about this book is that it did teach me about the different textiles and weaving methods used to make kimono. Other than that, I wouldn't encourage a newbie to waste their money on this book.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:43 am

NAME: Iyolin


This thread is developing nicely and generating discussion, so I must ask that the review be completed when you have finished reading the book, polinah. When updating your initial post, it might be helpful to reread the book review guidelines, found here.

A helpful hint would be to keep in mind that one of the aims Naomi/Immortal Geisha has is for the forums to be an educational resource, so we would appreciate a review to be similar to something you might hand in to a teacher or professor.

I look forward to the updated review! It seems like your opinion might be different from others, and that's exciting. Please don't find it discouraging if they disagree - that's what makes the discussion more interesting. I haven't reread the book in a while, but I didn't find as much disagreement with it as others, but it could be because I already knew the basics of kimono wearing. I'll have to reread it and share my opinions when I am near the book again, which won't be until Christmas break.
polinah wrote:The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear by Norio Yamanaka
Language: :eng English
Amazon Carries this Book

*long link edited by Iyolin*

I saw this book in my schools library and I find that it is actually pretty useful... I recommend this book to beginners like myself who have never worn a kimono and are looking for al ot of answers on what is needed for kitsuke and what size things need to be.

I haven't really sat down to read it but it seems to have a lot of helpful topics such as How to Put on a Kimono (from preperation of the han eri, putting on body pads, to the final proper appearance) Kimono Care (cleaning and folding) Kimono Etiquette (posture and movement) How to put on an obi aid (they talk about the magical obi aid, it looks like a biyosugata to me but the biyosugata is the only aid i know of) Different types of Obi (and their proper measurements)

Other topics include Haori and Accessories, a brief history, and A chapter on kimono that should covere weaving, dyeing, standard size, and some more things, oh and kimono for men and children

I'll post some pages when I have some time. I have 4 more weeks until my fall term ends

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:43 am

NAME: bebemochi


I have to correct myself about something -- I said that Yamanaka didn't cover nagajuban in the book, but I checked it out again last night, and he does. My mistake.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:43 am

NAME: Chiisana Hato


This was also my first kitsuke book. And I would recommend it for beginners because what it did for me was give me the confidence to explore the Japanese kitsuke magazines.

I could look at the English then interpret what was going on in the Japanese magazine much better. I didn't feel like I was jumping off into the Japanese without a net.

The history and fabric part was also interesting to me.

JMO :)

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:44 am

NAME: Takenoko


I bought this book when I was leaving Japan after wearing kimono for tea ceremony and various events, with the help of Japanese friends. My comments would more or less echo bebemochi's. If anything, I found the book so rigid in its dos and don'ts it made me quite nervous about wearing kimono on my own!

Agreed, it is useful to know the different names for kimono and kitsuke items, but much of the information of that kind in this book is actually here in the forum...

I didn't find the diagrams particularly good. There again, I have several Japanese kitsuke books (inc. the one with 100 obi musubi) that are quite difficult to follow, because the photos are too small to see what is going on. I bought a book recently on Amazon.jp which has proved to be a great buy - I'll check the title and see if it has already been reviewed or not.

:)

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:45 am

NAME: Iyolin




Finally finished!

My thoughts on The Book of Kimono:

When reading the book again for this review, I tried to recall what I thought when I first read it, but I couldn't. I had already had some kitsuke training before I had a chance to read the book, so I knew about how to wear and how to tie the otaiko at that point.

Intro
The intro states that he wants to revive kimono "love" and that founding a school was the way he thought was best to do it. I thought it was fairly clear after that (and with other comments and the way he worded things) that the book was his own interpretation of kimono, wearing, and etiquette. It is something to keep in mind when going through the book, though with it being the only book in English, I can see how it could easily be interpreted as the only way to wear kimono.

I must say that I've never felt the book to be against 'foreigners' or trying to show that kimono is too complex for anyone but the Japanese to understand. I'm in the minority with that opinion, though, and it may have to do with already knowing some kimono kitsuke before reading it, or that I was learning Sodo Kimono style. I think rules just seem so harsh when written out without someone to explain things to you. Part of it might be translational, because as far as I can tell, the book is a translation of the texts/pamphlets used by students of Sodo Kimono Gakuin (they have the same diagrams). Using diagrams is cheaper than taking pictures, especially since most people using the diagrams would have also had a sensei to show them things.

When going through the book, I tended to rate things as positive or negative, and make general impression comments.

I found the intro to be beneficial, as it explains the 4 wisdom's of Sodo Kimono (wisdom of harmony, beauty, courtesy, and love) and how kimono was seen in Japan previously. What stuck with me this time was that while people find his kimono wearing to be very full of rigid rules, he mentions having over 200 rules for the Heian era - which aren't followed today. Cultural differences must be remembered, where in Japan the image you present is paramount, and much of what goes on in society is bound by rules and has a set way to do things (granted, an over-generalization). As well, he mentions several times that the wearer makes the outfit, so I figure there's two ways to interpret the content of the book:

1. Rules are Rules.
2. Rules are to be used to understand what would be a real faux pas, and then to be bent to create your own style.

I think that since it was the style of wearing I was learning, I never really questioned it much, as the rules were the same as what my sensei was teaching. It wasn't until I'd been studying for over a year that we started to discuss 'style' and developing your own, and how his style of wear is his, not necessarily everyone's.

The pics of various musubi with their names was a positive, but the lack of directions for those was a negative.

History
History was welcome; of course, considering it's an overview, it's not going to be as in depth as something like Kimono (by Dalby). It serves it's purpose, which I took to be to give enough info so that the reader can understand where the kimono came from, and what influenced it and the wear. I didn't think it would be a complete, incredibly detailed history; there are other books for that.

About Kimono
I thought that the part on the sections of the kimono was a plus; giving the Japanese words (romaji) and the English was nice. Now, I think people would want the kanji as well, but the book was published in the early 80s, and people couldn't search the internet with kanji or shop YJA anyway. I thought it was neat that it also gave the "standard size" of a kimono.

Textiles/Weaves
The textiles and weaves section was interesting, though my biggest complaint falls here: pictures should be in COLOR. Especially when describing fabrics that are specific shades. The book also lacks close-up pictures of the weaves, which would have been helpful. The information in writing, though, was informative and I thought a nice extra as it certainly wasn't needed in the book.

Various
Types of kimono: Plus.
Simple TPO (time, place, occasion): Plus.

Covered different kinds of outer garments, undergarments, footwear, and accessories: Plus. Of course, some people would want far more information, but it's enough to get someone started and not make any big kitsuke mistakes.

Obi
Obi section was nice with a brief history; I thought that was interesting. Also positive were the labels in Japanese and English, the diagrams, descriptions of Odori and fukuro nagoya obi (which I haven't seen in other books), and that they covered the types, lengths and occasions. Of course, the big (-) is that there are no photos, only written descriptions.

Wearing
The wearing section starts with a prep and list, which I found to be a nice touch, as it also includes sewing haneri and describes padding. The padding section is lacking how to really add it and keep it on your body, though it does give suggestions on what to use.

My biggest complaint with the kitsuke section is that he randomly mentions things, or materials to use, that if the person doesn't have it there's no suggestions on what they could do about it. He mentions things like the datejime with the velcro (magic tape) ends, the chikara nuno, waistband (which is a hip/butt pad), korin belt and easy collar directions without first describing the materials or showing what they are with diagrams or pictures. If I didn't already know what the pieces were, this would be really confusing.

As previously mentioned, much of the kitsuke is Sodo Kimono specific, as he's promoting items created by Sodo Kimono. Unfortunately, he doesn't show what to do if you don't have the items in question, which is the next biggest minus regarding the book next to the lack of photos (color or not).

Biyosugata
In the 80s, I don't think the biyosugata directions would have been handy as no one had one or access to it (or very, very few people), but now, I'm glad the directions are there because the biyosugata is gaining in popularity now that there are services like Crescent Shop and YJA.

He gives directions for an "everyday obi", but doesn't really show what that is, so I found that section could have been eliminated without affecting the book.

Men's kitsuke is a plus, as is the cleaning & care and etiquette.

~~~~

Again, lots of rules here, but I think writing them as rules was a more concise way to explain the "points" of kimono wearing that should be a certain way (like lifting the hem). I also had to remind myself that the target audience is NOT the Westerner, but the Japanese.


My biggest complaint is that there should be more pictures, and what are there should be bigger and in COLOR (aside from the first few pages). This book is not recommended for those who are visual learners and who need pictures to understand.

Overall, I still find it a useful book, though not if you have other books in your collection, as the information contained within could now be found in other books in English. The kitsuke is Sodo specific, so it could confuse those who are trying to follow along with Japanese books. The explanations are helpful, though, and probably a good supplement to a Japanese book.

I have referred to the book often because although the Japanese kitsuke books explain about the obi and different kimono I can't read them easily, so I often refer to The Book of Kimono for that kind of information. I would not suggest it for the kitsuke directions, but I think that the other information contained within it is worth it.

Despite finding it helpful, I'd recommend buying the book for as little as you can; I don't think it's worth the $28 US suggested retail price on the back cover.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:45 am

NAME: SONGBIRD516


This book was very useful to me as I learned how to wear kimono. I mostly agree with Iyolin's critique. Although I have the 100 musubi book, I still use the method for tying otaiko from Book of Kimono. It was very picky, but by the time I bought the book, I had already been on this board and done enough research to know that there was some room for interpretation. I liked the introduction with the background information on perception of kimono- how since it is one shape, the wearer makes it beautiful and personal.

I definately needed more pictures, though. As the first (? I think) english book on wearing kimono, I think it was ahead of it's time and very helpful to us gaijin trying to wear kimono, and for that it deserves respect. :)

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:46 am

NAME: moefen


I agree with Iyolin's post, and with many of the other posters as well.

This book, as with any, should be considered in the context of its time, origin and purpose. It was first published in 1982, and at that time, was probably the ONLY English-language book about kimono. Since then there have been a few additions, notably Liza Dalby's work and the recent "Kimonos", however, "The book of kimono" is probably still the only English-language text that COMPREHENSIVELY introduces kimono: history, manufacture, textiles, rules, as well as how to wear. There are now many English books that focus on one topic, but few give a general introduction to all.

I also believe that in 1982, kimono wearing was perhaps more rigid than it has become recently. (Anyone that lives in Japan can certainly correct me if I am wrong here...) I think the "kimono hime" and appropriatian of kimono into a more casual, hip style favored by the young is a fairly recent phenomenom.

The language is stiff and can be daunting, but it has been translated from another language, and Japanese (I am learning) has many levels of formality in speaking. A formal kimono class would use a fairly formal speaking level (again, 1982).

All in all, I still think that it is a worthwhile reference. Certainly for the comprehensive look at kimono as a whole. It will not answer ALL your kimono questions, but it gives a touch of all aspects of kimono.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:46 am

NAME: Lukaina


As a kind of conclusion, I'm not sure if I had understand it well...

It's better for begginers to buy kitsuke magazines in japanese (even if we don't know japanese) that this book because it explain more with the pics?

Please, tell me if I'm not right at all :oops:

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:46 am

NAME: loreamar



Better another book, magazines not always explains fully kitsuke. There are many kitsuke books that even in Japanese are very well understable, just find the better for you.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:46 am

NAME: Murakami


Where does one find kitsuke magazines??

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:47 am

NAME: Iyolin


Perhaps Kinokunia or other Japanese bookstore that has a store State-side, or amazon.co.jp are my guesses.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:47 am

NAME: Tahanala


Frankly, the best aid I got for learning kitsuke was either book nor magazine, but this message board. I bought a Japanese beginner's book to kitsuke 3 month after starting here, and didn't learn anything new (from the pictures only, to be true.)

Reading the topics here (especially the KB,) using the search function until it has a nervous breakdown, and practising for yourself, are the best options. Seriously, can you imagine the size of a book containing all the information available here, including links? I can't.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:47 am

NAME: RedDelilah


Tahanala has a good point. It would be wonderful I think if we could compile all the information here into some sort of printed material. It would take forever though! I myself am about half way through 'The book of Kimono'. While not the greatest resource it has helped me get a handle on the amount of items that I need for kitsuke. The color pictures are very nice and a good reference I feel. Also this is the only kitsuke book I have seen not online in my area. I live in a fairly decent sized city with a good sized Asian population and it's still hard to find information about kimono first hand. While not the greatest book over all I think it certainly has it's place among the book shelves of collectors and enthusiasts alike.

:oops: Sorry I didn't mean for this to turn into a review as I have not read the entire book that was not my intention. Just giving some thoughts.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:48 am

NAME: kotokutie

Murakami wrote:Where does one find kitsuke magazines??
Where I live, a few of the local specialty Japanese grocery stores have small magazine/book sections in addition to their food items. There are often kimono mags and/or ladies' mags which have kimono information or have special issues about kimono-wearing topics. So if you have any J-grocers near you, perhaps you could try there.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:48 am

NAME: Mini

kotokutie wrote:
Murakami wrote:Where does one find kitsuke magazines??
Where I live, a few of the local specialty Japanese grocery stores have small magazine/book sections in addition to their food items. There are often kimono mags and/or ladies' mags which have kimono information or have special issues about kimono-wearing topics. So if you have any J-grocers near you, perhaps you could try there.

Kokokutie, I see you live in Toronto too! :) Have you been to Sanko? I love that store! William San and his family are so nice and helpful. William San always give me free candies! :lovelove I shop there all the time for food and stuff. I will look for the magazines you mentioned there.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:49 am

NAME: kotokutie


Mini:
Sanko was one of the places I had in mind when I wrote that. :)
FYI, their magazine/book section (which has gotten smaller over the years, unfortunately) is on the far left aisle, facing the o-sembei/rice cracker section. You have to check periodically - sometimes they have more, sometimes less. But if you're friends with them and a regular customer, why not just tell William san what you're looking for and ask them to bring it in for you on a regular basis? Just a thought......

P.S. - Gee, I never get any free candies...... :pout:

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:50 am

NAME: Lumikettu


I have the "Book of Kimono" and there is something I would like to ask from you who own the book too. In my book, on page 89 are the directions on how to put on a half-widht obi or han haba... I noticed that the images 2-3 are wrong way around (as do the text). Now, is it like this in your books, or is my version the only one having this?

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:51 am

NAME: U no Hana

Lumikettu wrote:I have the "Book of Kimono" and there is something I would like to ask from you who own the book too. In my book, on page 89 are the directions on how to put on a half-widht obi or han haba... I noticed that the images 2-3 are wrong way around (as do the text). Now, is it like this in your books, or is my version the only one having this?
I have my copy just now in front of me and I really can't say it's wrong. I'ts only he takes different steps, he folds the long part (and tucks it into the obi) after tying the obi instead of doing it before, as many other kitsuke books do. But it doesn't mean it's a mistake, at least not necessarily. Quite often I've found differences between the systems of tying the same knot in the different kitsuke books I have.
I must admit, though, that I've only seen this system in Yamanaka's book.

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:51 am

NAME: sillygatos


Once again, please forgive my tacking on to an old thread. It seemed as reasonable a place as any to say that, if you happen to be in Japan and come across a book (like this one) in English, it may be cheaper to buy it outside Japan.

Granted, I acquired my copy of the "The Book of Kimono" in Tokyo 2001 , and things have probably changed since then. Just be careful and check before you buy.

I'm a compulsive collector, so I'm glad I have this book even though I agree with the comments above that it's not the best out there. I certainly wouldn't pay full price now (yen or dollars!). Right now, there are several cheap copies available at AbeBooks.com (the best source for used books).

But for me, I'll always associate the book with the warm memory of my friend Hana recommending that I buy it this book after I surprised myself by buying my first kimono, obi, and michiyuki (at a place called Oriental Bazaar!).

Happy New Year!

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Re: The Book of Kimono - The Complete Guide to Style and Wear

Post by shira » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:51 am

NAME: yukatafan


I just located and ordered an earlier book of Yamanaka's (copyright date 1972) and will post a review of it when I get it.

Maybe it will be better written than The Book Of Kimono...my hunch is it is a manual for his Sodo school and is a little more likely to be less confusing than The Book Of Kimono

I find it amusing that Liza Dalby in her book Kimono Fashioning Culture (ISBN 0295981555) cites this book as an example of Nihonjin-ron or 'the discourse on being Japanese' which is something peculiarly Japanese and maybe we non-Japanese are not meant to understand it (at least not without a lot of exposure to and study of Japanese culture).

The Book Of Kimono in my opinion is more of an advertisement to look up a Sodo school and instructor and pay to take lessons (thereby enriching Yamanaka) and not so much a how to book of kitsuke, but for some of us thanks to geography that isn't going to happen.

I think The Book Of Kimono is a good English language overview of wearing kimono, has a few color photos, a few more illustrations and some really basic concepts, but I think it is intentionally designed not to be a good 'how-to' manual.

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