Kimono = hat

Found this photo at an antique store a couple months ago:

An excellent illustration of the important principle that for men, kimono = hat. (Not cap. Hat.)

A few decades ago, every man could wear one and look good. Nowadays, it's still possible, but a lot harder. Most men need a boost from either circumstance (Kimono: I'm performing traditional Japanese music! Hat: I'm playing trombone in a ska band!) or age (Kimono: I'm 70! Hat: I'm 70!). And if you fail to pull it off, well, you feel kind of awkward.

That seal at the bottom left says "Igarashi" (五十嵐), by the way.

Here's a close-up of the sake distribution nexus:

The brand of choice: Shirayuki ("White Snow", add a Hime ["princess"] for "Snow White"). Nice wig on the right, too. You won't see that outside of a wedding or a chindon'ya these days. Well, maybe in Kyoto.

The woman in the middle is still going strong as a type, though. I think I bought a beer from her just last week.

Popularity factor: 8

Leonardo Boiko:

Kimono: I’m an obvious foreigner! Hat: I’m an obvious foreigner!


I remember seeing an Asahi piece on Japanese students going to the Paris fashion shows, and the guy in the shot was rocking the kimono/bowler combination.

Which just goes to show that 東京芸術大学生 can pull off things mere mortals can't handle.

(Incidentally, if you were not aware that 瀬戸内寂聴 had a keitai novel out, let you now be informed.)


L: Aha, indeed.

MMS: Yeah, a bowler would require art school cred anywhere in the (first) world these days I think.

I did not know that about Setouchi. I will look into this. You mean it's currently being serialized, or is the print version already out? I guess she would be used to the bedhopping and tragedy and bitchy cliques required in the genre, given the Genji thing and all.


These transition photos are so interesting. I'd found a few similar on flickr but of course I don't know where they are now.

It is not unlike men wearing kilts these days. Unless you've got the right attitude in place, it's just a guy in a skirt.


Ah, Shirayuki, my favorite brand of yasuzake. I drank over a liter of it one night, actually, my GF and I polished off a whole isshoubin but I think I did about 80% of the drinking. Then I missed shuuden and all the cabs were off duty so I had to walk 9km home.

I'll never remember that night as long as I live.

(Apologies to Groucho for stealing his line)

BTW, it is one of my greatest disappointments that I've never been able to find a nice hat like those in the picture. I just can't find anything that fits. It will probably surprise noone that I have an extremely big head.


It's done with the serialization, but not in print form yet, I believe.

Funny you should bring up the Genji connection, as she wrote as "Purple" and based it on Genji.

Interview: http://mainichi.jp/enta/book/news/20080925ddm010040190000c.html


Kilt! Another excellent reference.

Thanks for the link, MMS! This will come in handy.


Art school cred, or being over 70 also lets people wear geta with an otherwise 'western' clothing combination (at least where i'm living at the moment, anyway).

I don't actually mean 'western' in the sense of cowboy clothes, but I have seen that too.
Japanese cowboys also have art cred.

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