Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Textile junkies and kimono addicts...

One of the kimono sellers uses the term "textile junkies" to describe some of her customers. While I like textiles a lot, I'm not a textile junkie. No, my name is Jilara, and I'm a kimono addict.

I joke that I can stop any time I want to, but I'm now seriously starting to wonder. Free time on the web? Oh, let's go check a couple Japanese dealer sites, and then pop over to ebay for a while. I also own something like 50 kimono books. Some are only in Japanese. I'm looking at one in a rare book catalog that's in French, and wondering if I want it. And don't even ask how many kimono I own. And I keep getting more.

Because I can. I can buy things that would have cost a month's wages new, things that people could have ruined themselves for, for very little money, now that the Japanese don't get into kimono so much any more. I can wear kimono in some form almost every day. Now, it has become the hunt, the search for the rare, unusual, and obscure. I found a 17th century kimono recently, which was misidentified so it didn't cost me very much money. I keep staring at my books and saying "This CAN'T be..." but it is. I compare it with the real deal with provenance, and it matches in every characteristic. But then, I realize that after over 25 years of learning about kimono, I'm sometimes telling the Japanese dealers things they don't know. We learn from each other.

And sooner or later, the supply will run out. As kimono more popular in the west, they are fading in Japan, and the expertise for making these extraordinary works of fabric art is dying out. I'm an addict. I admit it. I want to live what one Japanese dealer calls "the Kimono Lifestyle."

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