A ”Galary Himawari” visit report and future activity plan

November 6th, 2015
Today, the president of LVC, the vice president, the chairperson of the Planning Committee and the Chairperson of the Skill Up Committee met Ms. Tamiko Watanabe, owner of Gallery Himawari, selling kimono on Fukagawa Edo Shiryokan-dori Shopping Street. We confirmed the current situation and needs of the shops and the role of LVC.

Gallery Himawari sells lots of marvelous kimono, clothes and accessories recycled from used kimono. You will be able to enjoy seeing them if you visit the shop. It sells and dresses kimono and has classes to teach how to put them on. In addition, a kimono rental service started in November.

Gallery Himawari has put up a POP advertisement, “Kimono DE sanpo” and is enthusiastic about the new kimono rental service.

The background to this is that recently foreign customers sometimes visit the  Shopping Street. This has led to the idea of the kimono rental service. If they, especially foreign visitors, walk along this Shopping Street in kimono it can be a good memory for them, and they can get discounts whilst shopping  or visiting the Fukagawa Edo Museum.

To deal with these situations, the Cooperative Association asked us to support communication with these foreign customers. The reason for this is that LVC had already experienced providing language support, such as interpreting at Asakusa kimono events and organizing a “yukata experience” for overseas students.

LVC’s job is to interpret for shop-keepers when foreign customers come to their shops, and to provide support when they have difficulty communicating in a foreign language. Then, we decided to learn about the Shopping District by walking around it, so that we can guide there and work as interpreters from the beginning of December. If you are interested and would like to know more information, please join our meeting from 14:00, November 14th, 2016.

Ms. Watanabe’s Talk
Today, Ms. Watanabe’s talk was “Kimono wastes no parts”. You may not know why kimono has no parts to waste.

One reason is how it is made. The first step is to cut the required cloth from a rectangular one. When western-style clothing is made, extra parts remain because the cloth must be cut in a curve. It is needed to fit the round parts of the body such as shoulders and waists in the process of making. That results in extra pieces. This is the same story as mathematics. When the round parts are cut from a rectangle, extra parts remain.

In contrast, kimono is different from western clothing. It uses a rectangular cloth without any waste. It is based on the sewed narrow (or half size) sides. When all of the cut parts (the narrow sides) are combined, a beautiful rectangular cloth is completed. Besides, a kimono can easily be remade into a different size by untying the threads if it does not fit. Kimono can be adjusted by folding and sewing on extra parts.

Because of the way of cutting and mixing and matching there is no waste with a kimono.

Did people in olden days think such things when they made kimono… I as chairperson of the Skill Up Committee was surprised to discover the functional points about kimono.

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