Miyako in yukata

It’s graduation season and tomorrow my daughter Miyako graduates from 5th grade!  I’m so proud of her, but sad that she’ll be saying goodbye to her wonderful Japanese immersion elementary school 😦

The kids at the immersion school wear yukata (cotton summer kimono) for graduation!  Luckily, we have a few lovely yukata and obi (sashes) that I’ve been picking up over the years in Japan, and now Miyako is big enough to wear one.   It took three tries to get all the parts on right!  Underneath that obi are 4 (four) layers of specialized waist wraps that you have to use to get the “right” kimono sillhouette.   I can’t believe how lovely she looks.

After we got it all on, we decided it just needed something ‘extra’.  It needed that little Paper Demon touch.  So, we decided to design and create an obi ornament.  Traditionally Japanese people wore netsuke ornaments of ivory hanging from the sashes of their kimonos.  Japanese girls today wear all kinds of sweet, original little doo-dads when they go out in yukata for summer festivals.

After much discussion, and debating the merits of tiny koi fish, sakura flowers, and bunnies, we finally settled on these cube shaped acrylic beads that have yukata fabric encased inside them.   I got them last summer at a very special tiny specialty shop in the ancient city of Kamakura, courtesy of a local friend who had scouted out the store for me ahead of time (thanks Yuki!)  I like to make earrings out of these, but I have to admit, they look awfully good as what they were made for—-yukata ornaments.  Maybe I’ll try adapting the idea in a pin!   What do you think? Would you wear it?

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