Talk:Purchasing a kimono

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(Redirected from Talk:Kimono buying guide)

Other-subject links to WikipediaEdit

I argued for inline links to Wikipedia of the type User:Jpatokal inserted into this article, and the suggestion was completely shot down. I reject User:118.93nzp's assertion that "the traveller comes first" supersedes consensus on this site. We can't act as individuals to violate consensus whenever we as individuals decide that violating consensus is useful for readers, because then consensus will mean nothing and chaos will result. Explain why the things you want to link to Wikipedia for (a) can't be briefly explained in prose here and (b) are of such great importance that they should be exceptions, when there are hundreds and hundreds of things that could be similarly linked in other articles (local articles of clothing, local flora and fauna, local cuisine and architecture, local geographic features and points of interest, etc., etc., etc.). Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:07, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Oops, I was under the vague impression that our policy on this had changed, but since it apparently hasn't this discussion properly belongs on Wikivoyage talk:Links to Wikipedia.
But the reason I put those there was because I tried to come up with a pithy description of what a "happi coat" is and failed, and because this article is emphatically not about happi coats, it makes no sense to add a "Related" link. Sigh. Jpatokal (talk) 00:38, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Not being able to provide the links does make it harder for editors, which is a good reason to argue for the links, but I understood the arguments User:Texugo and others made against such "laziness" in that thread. In any case, that's the way it is and probably will remain for some time. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:41, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

The alternative to unthinking regimentation is not necessarily chaos.

Rules are good for avoiding thought and mature judgement, but when someone has the time to reflect on what is best for a particular article, then we need to act as editors rather than automatons. In this case, long articles on particular items of Japanese clothing is out of scope for a travel guide and external explanations are appropriate - as long as they are well signalled. By removing them we weaken our guide unnecessarily since, in this particular case, nobody (lazy or not) should be writing lengthy dissertations on Japanese traditional clothing here! --118.93nzp (talk) 01:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

That's exactly the argument that, as you know, was shot down in the policy thread. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:13, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Abuse of administrator toolsEdit

This edit (ironically with an edit summary of "Don't edit war") removed the useful links to Wikipedia (which I had not introduced in the first place)! As I understand it, this is the second time that the administrator in question had removed those links so if anyone was edit warring it was actually the administrator in question.

However, this was not the abuse, since any editor can use the "undo" button.

The abuse was in using the rollback tool since this also did collateral damage such as restoring formats not consistent with our clear policy (or, if Ikan Kekek prefers, "consensus") about wv:$, wv:radix; and also shortened "happi coats worn in festivals and garish yukata with sumo wrestlers" to "happi coats and garish yukata with sumo", "slightly coquettish" to "slighly coquettish", removed the "Hard Off" external link, changed risaikuru to risaikaru (sic) and reintroduced the unnecessary latin of per se.

None of that is either collegiate or appropriate in my personal view, and I can only think that this sort of sloppy behaviour is what happens when admins become obsessed by roolz and "playing the player rather the ball" and thinking about individual edits. It needs to stop. --118.93nzp (talk) 01:29, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

New article name?Edit

The title Kimono buying guide looks awkwardly self-referential. The article could instead be named Kimono purchase or Kimono shopping (compare bead shopping). /Yvwv (talk) 21:24, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Compare Talk:Chicago skyline guide. /Yvwv (talk) 21:29, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand how it's self-referential? Which self are you referring to? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:51, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
It is the word "guide" that refers to the article itself. For comparison, the Tokyo article is not named Tokyo guide, and the Roman Empire is not named Roman Empire guide. /Yvwv (talk) 14:54, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
OK, I understand. If you don't like the word "Guide", I would support "Purchasing a kimono" or "Shopping for a kimono", both of which are much more elegant than "Kimono purchase" or "Kimono shopping". Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:53, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Issues with this articleEdit

I'm Chris - specialist editor and main typewriter monkey for the Kimono article on Wikipedia at the minute. Having randomly jumped cross-wiki to see this page from the Kimono article on Wikipedia, I noticed there's a good few issues with this article that happen to be a little glaring.

I'm not familiar with this Wiki, but on the Policies page, it seems there's a goal for articles to be up-to-date and reliable. Seeing as I'm the main contributer to (crying over) updating the Kimono article on Wikipedia, I thought I could help. There's a few issues in the text I don't necessarily have time to update, being in the middle of my degree, but I figured I could park them here for later. Hopefully someone else will get to these before I do.

I'm going to list them in order here, going down the article:

...the task of buying a new kimono is fairly straightforward: simply go into an outfitter in a shopping mall or department store and be prepared to hand over about ¥200,000 (roughly $2,000 USD).

Not quite true. I've updated the Cost section on the Wikipedia article to reflect the process of purchasing a new kimono; it is, in most cases, more involved than simply handing over $2,000. Not all new kimono cost this much, either.

A kimono (着物) is a silk gown, typically consisting of at least one inner garment and one outer silk layer, with a multitude of other accessories that are used for decoration and to hold the whole thing together...There is a somewhat related garment that looks like a kimono but is actually quite different, which is called a yukata (浴衣). This is a less formal gown consisting of only one layer that may be either printed silk or cotton, and is traditionally worn in the summer.

What? This is just plain wrong. Kimono are made of more fabrics than just silk, and yukata are never printed silk. I'm not sure where this comes from. Yukata are always cotton, and functionally yukata are no different to an unlined kimono. There's literally no difference in construction methods.

Of course, the tourist traps have all sorts of rubbish in them such as the happi coats worn in festivals and garish yukata with sumo wrestlers on them. Whatever floats your boat I suppose.

I don't feel this assessment is correct, either. Tourist kimono do exist, but happi coats aren't necessarily rubbish. They're just another kind of jacket. See here for examples of vintage happi coats - not just tourist tat.

Nagajuban – The gown which comprises the inner layer of a kimono. Looks like the outer layer except that it is more plain looking.

This is nitpicky of me - but juban don't have the okumi front panel kimono have.

The most common type of obi is fukuro obi which is about 2 m (6.6 ft) long and typically only has embroidered brocade on the visible sections.

Common for formalwear, probably, but in everyday life, the most common type of obi for a woman is a nagoya obi. For men, it's the kaku obi, but that's only because there's...about two types of obi for men, and the other type is less formal.

Unmarried women typically allow a small part of the obiage to "peek" above the obi, which is meant to be slightly coquettish as the obiage is technically an undergarment.

I have a feeling whoever first wrote this article probably read Kimono: Fashioning Culture by Liza Dalby; I can picture the exact diagram this line comes from. In the modern day, the "unmarried-married" split is a little more blurred and much rougher. It's not a given that a young woman will automatically get married anymore, and so there's more leeway in terms of how high one's obiage falls, or how high their obi is worn.

However, the above list should be considered the mandatory elements. Bear in mind that to wear a kimono properly you will also need to use at least three cloth bindings, but they can be simple strips of cotton or silk, as they are not visible.

Not strictly true; not all kimono are formal enough to require obijime and obiage. I'd replace "cloth bindings" with "koshihimo" as well, as that's a clearer term for looking things up and researching what you need. You're not going to get much if you type "cloth bindings" into google.

I can't speak to the prices listed. However, I feel it should be noted that the price of second-hand kimono varies widely.

Next up - a large section on "real" kimono:

A misconception amongst Western visitors to Japan is that only some kimono are real and others are fake. For example, a plain dyed kimono without patterns isn't "real". Well, it's as real as anything else. Perhaps what people are really asking is if the kimono is something a Japanese would wear and not a copy made for tourists, usually made from polyester rather than silk. You can avoid this easily enough by not frequenting areas that sell tourist trash, however, as a warning to the unwary you can spot a fake kimono in the following ways:

Generally older kimono will give off a musty odour and have a patina that confirms that they are silk.

  • Kimono designs are painted onto the silk; they are not dyed into the fabric. If the picture designs are ingrained into the fabric then it is probably microfibre (i.e., fake).
  • Fake kimono often don't have a seam going down the back.
  • Obi sashes and kimono made from the same fabric pattern are a dead giveaway that it's not authentic.
  • Polyester usually exhibits "crazing"—bits of frizzy thread popping up here and there.

However, you are best off going to shops that Japanese people shop at rather than tourist traps—that's the easiest way to avoid fake kimono.

This section isn't too clear. It's a "misconception" that "only some kimono are real and others are fake"...but "you can spot a fake kimono in the following ways"? That's not clear.

After this - there are kimono designs dyed into the fabric. These aren't fake kimono, they're just not yuzen dyed. Not all synthetic fabrics are microfibre, and not all synthetic kimono are fake. Massive misconception. I own vintage wool kimono, they're not fake because they're not silk. They're just a different fabric.

The other points are fine, but polyester isn't a bad fabric for a kimono. Modern synthetics are miles apart from their 1960s counterparts - there's no shame in buying something that's washable! Plenty of people do it all the time, Japanese and non-Japanese alike. Silk can be such a bitch to take care of. I don't blame anyone looking for something they can take care of.

Fitting kimonos is actually a recognised skill in Japan and aside from registered fitters or cosmetologists it isn't legal to offer one's services to put on a kimono for financial recompense.

I don't know that this is true. I know there are people who dress others in kimono; I don't know if there's necessarily laws against doing this without the proper bells and whistles. A document to look into would be Julie Valk's 2018 Master's thesis on the kimono retail industry; I know she goes into detail about her first-hand experiences with kimono dressers and all aspects of the industry, so I'd imagine the truth it would likely be in there somewhere.

Tying your obi is the most challenging step of putting on a kimono—that's as true today as it was in 1890.

Also not necessarily true. Maru obi were still worn in the 1890s, which they no longer are; likewise, with the advent of tsuke or tsukiri obi, tying obi musubi is a lot easier than it once was. There's a wide variety of tools out there to help someone dress.

The best way to keep a kimono clean is to wash your hands before wearing it. You can also try to keep the outer silk clean by spot cleaning any stains with a sponge. Otherwise you want to try and minimise any cleaning of the painted silk. Machine washing or standard dry cleaning will quickly destroy the paints. Delicate hand washing might be okay, but it's a decidedly less-than-ideal approach, especially if the kimono is worth a bit of money.

A sponge and...what? Stains can be removed by very delicately using alcohol or vinegar. General staining through perspiration can be avoided by airing out kimono after wearing on a stand - never on a Western hanger. It's also worth noting that you can probably send your kimono off to a dry cleaner that also does bridalwear - which is important. If they won't do bridalwear, they'll likely not do kimono any justice.

The other important thing is to wear underwear beneath the nagajuban. This doesn't have to be proper Japanese traditional underwear; a cotton shirt and shorts will do. This will help to keep the kimono cleaner longer.

Some confusion between nagajuban and hadajuban here. Nagajuban is the undergarment that shows at the collar; you need this for anything other than yukata, you can't avoid it. Hadajuban, however, you can ditch. Wear shorts and a t-shirt. It doesn't really matter.

Traditionally, kimono were stored in tatoushi wrappers, which are paper envelopes that sort of look like those bags that they give you to put a suit in. You don't really need these, per se. What you do need is a means of storage away from moisture and excessive light. A flat plastic container under your bed would suffice.

I would avoid storing kimono in plastic boxes. (He says, having kimono in plastic boxes in his room.) If there's still moisture in the kimono, or you live in a damp environment, or there's mould, plastic isn't going to let this air out and dry. Obviously, if you can't avoid this, you can't avoid this. Just be sure you take out your kimono and air them for about a day or so a year.

I'm sorry to leave a long section and engage in drive-by nitpicking, but seeing as I don't have the time to update the article atm, I wanted to leave this here in case someone else could update it. There's a lot of wonky information on kimono out there. Like the box at the bottom of the article says - let's help contribute to this article and give it star status. --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 12:26, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Wow! Thanks Ineffablebookkeeper for the amazing brain dump! I'm glad you found your way over to Wikivoyage; we're a much smaller community, so we could really use contributors with your expertise.
We're not as encyclopedic or formal as Wikipedia here; our handful of policies, aside from "the traveller comes first", include keeping our writing lively and informal.
Obviously I'd encourage you to plunge forward and update this article accordingly, but if you don't get around to that, I'll certainly make it a priority to integrate some of these notes into the article soon. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:25, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
@Bigpeteb: - It's no problem! I love this area of research, and I enjoy seeing it represented accurately cross-wiki - there's nothing more exciting to me about choosing to buy your first kimono.
As an aside - do you think it would be worth including a small section on buying a kimono online? I'm pretty involved in the kimono enthusiast community, and most people I know - myself included - tend to buy online. Even though it's not technically a "voyage", I know there are places in Japan that sell online that would definitely be worth mentioning. Ichiroya is one, sou_japan and net-shinei are a few others. The article mentions Yahoo Japan Auctions, so I think it could be worth including a small section on how to buy kimono online, but I leave that up to you - I'm unfamiliar with the rules here, so I default to whatever you'd think would be best. Please let me know - thank you! --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 22:45, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Until the current pandemic, we wouldn't include information about online purchases you can do while sitting at home, but under the current circumstances, I would say absolutely yes. Let's see what other people say, but I don't think this will be controversial now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:03, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I think for this article, it's definitely fine. Unlike our handful of other articles on specific goods like carpets and beads that you can buy in many countries, you can more or less only get kimonos from Japan. While it may be easy to try shopping online for electronics, kimonos need some more specialized guidance on where and how to shop for them. --Bigpeteb (talk) 00:01, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Ineffablebookkeeper: Thanks for your contribution. Just a question here. To my knowledge, in situations were women would wear a kimono, men would typically just wear a Western-style suit or tuxedo instead, and the only men who wear kimono are yakuza gangsters, sumo wrestlers and actors in historical dramas. So if you're knowledgeable, in what situations is it common for men to wear a kimono? If you know, I think this would be useful information in the article.

And just one more thing. I added a brief thing about getting a brand-new kimono. Please expand if you know more, and it is not Captain Obvious. After all, Wikivoyage aims to serve travellers, and rich travellers count as travellers too. The dog2 (talk) 21:30, 27 June 2020 (UTC)

One situation in which men wear kimonos is when they are grooms at traditional Shinto weddings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:20, 27 June 2020 (UTC)
@Bigpeteb: - I can't honestly say I've ever seen it said that only members of the yakuza, sumo wrestlers and actors wear kimono. I know that sumo wrestlers are required to wear kimono when appearing in public, and obviously actors in historical dramas and kabuki plays wear kimono - but from what little I know or have seen of the yakuza, they appear to wear Western suits about as much as any other man.
As @Ikan Kekek: said, grooms do commonly wear either a tuxedo or a kimono at a traditional Shinto wedding, though it should be said that what we define as "traditional" wear for a Shinto wedding really only solidified in the last century or so, and even then, the clothes decided upon were less "religiously significant" and more "religiously significant for/previously formal attire for women in the samurai classes, who wore this stuff to formal occasions because they could afford it".
Otherwise - men will wear kimono to their Coming of Age day just like women, and they also wear kimono to summer festivals, to hotels and inns, maybe to a kabuki performance - I mean, anyone going to a kabuki performance as an enthusiast of kabuki is more likely than the gen pop to wear kimono more often, since the two are pretty interlinked as traditional Japanese forms of culture - or, outside of that...I mean, anywhere. Kimono can be worn to every occasion, it really just depends upon the person - there are definitely notable male kimono enthusiasts, such as Akira Times (love that man's style), there's just less of them than women.
I think that would probably be the point to make; though there are situations that are more common to see men wearing kimono to, on the whole, a male kimono enthusiast has the opportunity to wear kimono anywhere he goes - there's just fewer men like him than there are women like him, who share his passion for the kimono.
Also - the addition about brand-new kimono is good, but part of the expense (which I seem to have nerfed from my eventual edit) is down to sales tactics in traditional Japanese kimono stores. I have a really good thesis I can draw from to expand on this (Julie Valk's 2018 thesis on the kimono industry - really interesting read!), so I think I'll make it a separate section and expand upon it further. --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 15:16, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
@Ineffablebookkeeper: So are those men wearing kimonos to Shinto weddings and Coming of Age Day just regular men, or are they usually Yakuza gangsters. Japanese friends have told me that those men are usually Yakuza gangsters, while regular men with more respectable affiliations will usually wear a Western-style three-piece suit tuxedo. I remember visiting Meiji Shrine on Coming of Age Day once, and I only saw women in kimonos, while the men were in three-piece suits or tuxedos. And I've visited the kimono department of Mitsukoshi, and I only saw female kimono there. So I presume even if you wanted to, it's a lot harder to buy male kimonos. The dog2 (talk) 18:26, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
My brother and his wife wore beautiful kimonos at their Shinto wedding a few years ago. Are you suggesting that they're secretly Yakuza gangsters? When people who speak with knowledge and authority correct a misimpression you had, it's best not to persist in it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:15, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
Just wanted to say that, IMHO, Ineffablebookkeeper deserves praise for writing this excellent article! If you ever want to write some more articles on wiki, I'm sure they would be excellent! And thanks for taking the time to explain the details on the talk page. That requires a lot of patience in any circumstance, and the way you've explained in detail the topic you're covering, on this talk page, is something I've never seen before on wiki. Keep up the great work! --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:27, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: I apologise if I inadvertently insult your brother, but my question was meant to be one of clarification. He said that you can see both kimonos and tuxedos at Shinto weddings, so I was clarifying if there was such a distinction. The dog2 (talk) 23:24, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
The woman who took care of wedding planning at the shrine where the wedding took place clearly operated on the basis that wearing a kimono was normal and traditional. This was the Asakusa Shrine, a beautiful and famous shrine in Tokyo. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:19, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
@SelfieCity: - thank you! I hope I didn't make the article too long; I was conscious of just how many varieties of kimono and obi I could put into the text(!), so feel free to shorten it down if I've overstepped the mark.
@The dog2: - it's really not hard to find men's kimono for sale, there's just usually less of them, because there's just...less demand. I have to say that I've never heard of the affiliation between men's kimono and the yakuza, and in all honesty of roughly 5 years studying kimono, I can't say I put any stock by it. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, I don't know, but I really would suggest categorically confirming that link before even suggesting putting it into the article - certainly I don't think any man wearing kimono in Japan would automatically be mistaken for a member of the yakuza. You likely saw only women wearing kimono because, I'd guess, furisode are fun and exciting to wear, whereas formal men's kimono don't look too different to informal men's kimono - or men are just less likely to play dress-up. I don't know. But the link between the yakuza and kimono seems spurious at best. --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 11:40, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The length of the article is good. We don’t have any specific limit on article length, and generally our articles are shorter than desired, not longer. The only time articles have been considered too long, according to my memory, is in the case of country articles that reach the hundreds of thousands of bytes. This one is 43,000, less than some destination articles to which I’ve contributed, so as long as there is useful detail to add, don’t worry about adding content. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:33, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

@Ineffablebookkeeper: Thanks for the clarification. And as Selfie City said, as long as it is not Captain Obvious and serves travellers, please expand and don't worry about length. If it gets too long, we can always split this into multiple sub-articles later.
And by the way, we also have other articles about Japan, such as an Arts in Japan article. Please feel free to expand those articles too, if you are familiar with the topic(s). The dog2 (talk) 14:59, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
Ineffablebookkeeper, I'd also like to thank you for your work on this article. I haven't had the chance to read the latest version yet. As The dog2 says, by all means, if you have more to say about kabuki, noh or anything else, please add it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:20, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
@Ineffablebookkeeper: And just to let you know, we have an article on Go, if you want to contribute to that. We don't have a Shogi article yet because we don't have people with the expertise to write one, and my level of shogi is extremely rudimentary, but if you're familiar with it, please feel free to start the article. The dog2 (talk) 20:35, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
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