Sunday, 14 December 2014

Kimono Fashion Show 2014

So, even though NaNoWriMo is over, I've been MIA. And as always, I've got really good reasons for that. One is that my mom and bro came over this week, and between lost luggage (which seems to occur to China Eastern passengers who transit at Shanghai) and general getting-used-to-the-cold, and eat-all-the-food stuff, I haven't had much time to get on the computer.

And of course, there is the Kimono Fashion Show. Y'all might remember the kimono shop from that one-time baito and the Yukata wearing stuff. So, more-or-less the same stuff, except I have to pay quite a bit. Even though the Kimono (mine's a 訪問着 - houmongi) itself was free (and apparently worth 300 000 yen), the customisation to my size was about 80 000 yen. But I asked around and asked the mighty Google, and it appears that if the customisation is done within Japan, like mine was, then it's still ok. A little on the high side, but not yet a rip-off.

Yesterday, we had a rehearsal! There were supposed to be eight of us, but two didn't come, including my partner. Needless to say, I was really really worried today.

The stage
I was told to come at 9:00 today, and woah, there were a lot of people. We were all herded into one huge room where people who are way better at these things than me helped me put on my kimono, and then to another big room where someone did my hair. As always, it's really fun to talk to the people who are helping me dress up - they've always got interesting things to say!

Since I came at 9, and started at about 9:30, I was done by 10:30. Maybe 11. Did I mention that I was only supposed to report at the place at 2:20 pm?

They very helpfully had all the reporting times at the back. 
 So, it was really a lot of walking around. And walking around. And walking around.

And now, walking back to the event hall.
For a while, I thought that my partner wasn't here (at least, that was what I was told). But yay, when I actually went to the reporting place I found her! Of course, she had no idea what to do, so I gave her a quick run-down, and then there was one final run through on a tiny mock-stage, and THEN we went to.... line up.

Outside waiting room. Not the official waiting room waiting room. 
Even though I was in Scene 2b (Grace), we still waited a really long time. Perhaps an hour? Not too sure, since I couldn't see a clock and didn't have my phone or a watch. I just know it was long enough that we were told we could sit down.

See! Scene 2, number 76
Oh, and I found it cool that there were makeup people standing around. We were told to do our own makeup when we came (hence my panda eyes in all photos that I will appear in), but they had people ready for touch ups. Mostly things like lipstick (that's what most of us got), but I did manage to borrow some of their eye makeup to try and look less panda-like!

You might recognise this photo from Google+, but yes, panda eyes. 
 My group was actually really fun though! There were only 7 of us, and after a while, we started talking. There's one girl from Okinawa, one from Tokyo, and I think the rest are from Fukuoka. One of them was even a mother of a 3 year old, and she's only 24! Woah.

Me with a group-mate
I actually got tickets for my mom and bro, but after my turn, my brother was making enough noise that they had to go outside. I wanted to leave early, but permission was not granted. Apparently, I had to be back in about an hour for the closing ceremony.

So... when in doubt what to do, EAT. 

It's called a fruit crepe, but it's basically a vanilla ice-cream
crepe with fruits on the side. 
After my first meal/snack of the day, I went back, and my mom and bro went to explore Tenjin. My mom got this Fukuoka tourism booklet, so she has many many places she wants to go now (which I honestly don't know about).

The ending ceremony was actually not that bad. There was some prize-presentation (I didn't even know this was a competition of sorts!) which was meh, but then they read this letter by one of the participants on why she wanted to participate. It was really moving, and I honestly wanted to cry a little. Then a closing speech, which was thankfully short, a loud bang and streamers which made most of us jump, and finally, it was over.

お疲れ様です〜
All in all, it was fun. My mom enjoyed looking at the different kimonos, especially the way they tied the obi and the various hairstyles. My brother... wasn't that interested, but started reading a book that I really love and recommended, so I consider the day a success. I had a lot of fun wearing a pretty kimono, and meeting new people.