Thousands of Miles from Home


Put On Your Best Kimono

I came home from school today fully intending to sleep, half from exhaustion following Thursday's weekly 2K morning run which left me feeling out of shape and with an acute sense of shame, coupled with the nightly underground mahjong and pinochle games run out of Kawai-san's basement. Just kidding, Japanese houses don't have basements. However the run, much like last week's, left the class with a robust black-lung hack; transforming into a wheeze by the end of the day. Andee, always with a rapier wit, quipped that he will be basking in the sun of Malaysia drinking wine from a coconut (slight exaggeration) before I finish the running unit of gym class. I punched him in the stomach. On the bright side I did shave my time by 20 seconds. When does the rock climbing unit start?

But "Hell Thursday," as I have come to lovingly refer, is not the topic of this post (and to be truthful the running is fun for the first 30 seconds or so. I much prefer exercise at my own pace and with music). But last Saturday, after Andee spent the night, my host mother took us with Saeki-san to their kimono teacher's house for a photo shoot. This time both of us wore "hakama" style kimono, much like the outfit worn for kyudo or kendo but much fancier. The hakama kimono is customarily donned for wedding ceremonies or other such occasions. The kimono-sensei showed us how to wear the kimono, and also how to tie the Obi, or bow/belt/sash around the waist (there are countless methods). Following the dressing both Andee and I posed for numerous pictures beside the teacher's house (with a striking japanese facade) and in her garden.

After the shoot, the teacher explained the complicated process of folding the kimono, hakama, and silk underskirt. We drank tea in her tatami room then took off for home.


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