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Shidarezakura - Weeping Cherry by Kurokami-Kanzashi Shidarezakura - Weeping Cherry by Kurokami-Kanzashi
Shidarezakura - Weeping Cherry

I'm sure a number of you will remember when this beauty came up for auction on ebay months back. There was a great deal of discussion as to whether or not it was an authentic Miyako Odori kimono, or just something made in the same style. Seeing that I love a good auction gamble, I took a chance on this piece and bought it. Due to some shipping issues, the kimono actually had to be shipped to a friend of mine and she has been holding onto the kimono for me since then. I finally got it from her the other day. The minute I first saw it, I was convinced that it was the real deal. There are just certain methods of construction that are not used on average kimono of that time period. They are quite unique to geisha and stage pieces. On top of that, I could not only see evidence of shoulder tucks, a few of the stitches were still intact! As such, I have put the shoulder tucks in place again.

Upon returning home, I immediately began researching the various Miyako Odori kimono in order to see what I could find out. Well, the mystery of this kimono's authenticity has been solved. It IS a Miyako Odori kimono and dates back prior to 1951. You can find a photo of it being worn here: www.flickr.com/photos/29015725…

Though it is very difficult to see in the photo, the details of this kimono's sleeves can be made out on the maiko in the bottom left corner of the image when it is viewed at full size. I have also superimposed a photo of one of the sleeves that I took myself onto a cropped version of that vintage photo above. It shows that the details of the sleeve are a perfect match.

I've been able to recognize the details on the skirt as well, but was unable to superimpose them in a similar manner due to the angle at which the maiko is standing.

Though this is not actually the 1951 Miyako Odori kimono, I believe it was worn in a previous year; somewhere between 1940 and 1949 (excluding 1943 - 1947 when the Miyako Odori didn't occur due to the second world war). Unfortunately I have not been able to confirm the exact year as I can't find any odori programs from 1940 - 1949 The help of anyone who owns a Miyako Odori program book from the 1940's would be greatly appreciated! I wouldn't be surprised if this kimono originates from 1940 - 1942 because the 1938 / 39 kimono have almost identical cherry blossoms on the shoulders. Thank you kofuji for uploading your odori program books on flickr! They have been a great help!

Now, I'm sure a number of you are wondering why the kimono in my possession has such short sleeves in comparison to the furisode length sleeves in the vintage photo. To be honest, I'm wondering the same thing myself. At the very least, I can say that certain details of this kimono indicate that it was remade at some point. For what purpose, I am unsure. My theory is that some frugal okiya remade this kimono so that it could be used by a minarai during the tough economic times surrounding the Second World War. Alternatively, it may have simply been remade for someone's child to wear. Any additional theories are very welcome!
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:iconmafer1480:
mafer1480 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
bellisimooo !!! i love it.
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:iconkurokami-kanzashi:
Kurokami-Kanzashi Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Thank you!
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:iconmythrilangel:
MythrilAngel Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Now that is cool. Thank you for sharing your find :)
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:iconkurokami-kanzashi:
Kurokami-Kanzashi Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
It is, isn't it?  And you're welcome!
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:iconmythrilangel:
MythrilAngel Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes, Kimono are beautiful~!!!
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:icontheladyofshalot:
TheLadyofShalot Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014
magnificent!
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:iconkurokami-kanzashi:
Kurokami-Kanzashi Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Thanks!
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:iconhimegabi:
HimeGabi Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That is a seriously lucky find.
Perhaps the sleeves could have been shortened for wear after a marriage ceremony?
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:iconkurokami-kanzashi:
Kurokami-Kanzashi Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Thank you!  I'm not sure that the sleeves were shortened after marriage since the kimono is overly bright and colourful.  It seems a little too young for a married woman to wear.  When I received it, the kimono was actually hastily shortened by about 20cm too, so maybe the sleeves were cut off by someone who just thought they were too cumbersome?  I hate to think about it, but it's possible that this was one of the kimono that was "brought back" (often times stolen) after the second world war, and someone hacked it up, not knowing what it was.  :(
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January 27, 2014
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