February 25, 2012

Kimono de Jack Seattle

Last night was the Kimono de Jack at the Seattle Symphony's 4th Celebrate Asia concert! Oh, what an amazing night! There was a huge turnout. I was told there were almost 60 people dressed in kimono at the event!! WOW! Not all of them joined in the Kimono Jack reception. There were many photographers, and they were able to take many photos of everyone all lined up at the reception. It was a small room for the number of people there so the photographers had a hard time getting everyone in the photographs. I couldn't get photos of everyone, but let me share my experience with you!

I started out the morning getting all prettied up for the big event. I set my hair in curlers, much to the amusement of my neighbor's daughter who shared a giggle with me as I was loading stuff into my car. I did my nails. I used Japanese sakura nail seal stickers and sealed them with 2 layers of clear polish, but the flowers still ended up getting rubbed off after dressing in kimono and all the adjusting. Oh well, they were pretty while they lasted.

I tried to get a decent picture of my hair. Its big curly and poofy in the back and side bangs. I had my peach flower corsage on one side and black kanzashi on the other. I still had a curler in my hair until after I was completely dressed and ready to go. The curl was being stubborn.
"cheese!" Don't mind me, in my kimono underwear...
My much loved flower corsage.

I didn't get fully dressed at home. I was taking my son to grandma's house after he woke up from his nap, so I dressed in my juban and covered up with a kasuri coat and finished getting dressed at my mom's place. My mom and brother watched me dress in my kimono, asking questions and making comments.

All dressed and feeling fancy!

My son wanted to be in pictures too!!

It is a long hour plus drive to Seattle, and it was pouring rain. As I was getting into the busy part of the highway into Seattle my phone froze up on me, I noticed it when I figured out my navigation wasn't giving me directions! I nearly broke all my nails off trying to rip open the back of the phone case to take out the battery to reboot it, and I had to do that twice before my phone eventually started up again. Luckily I got it started just in time for the navigation to tell me to exit the highway. And then I had car trouble. My car has been dying on me lately, and it died on me 3 times while driving through Seattle.

I didn't get any strange looks from pedestrians walking around the city, but as I pulled into the parking garage the attendant managed to stumble out the words "oh..! my gosh..! you look GORGEOUS~!" I think I blushed twenty shades of red.

Ladies dressed in kimono slowly trickled into the reception area.

I rushed into the reception kimono adjustments area because I was supposed to meet with Yumi to help her into her kimono. I felt so bad for being late, but thankfully others had arrived and Shannon (starlitsoul) dressed Yumi. I helped Yumi later on with minor adjustments.

I met soo many wonderful people! I feel bad for not remembering everyone's names. On the left is Yumi and on the right is Shannon. I don't remember Shannon's friends name ~ you'll have to remind me!!

Shannon in the teal kimono made her kimono herself! Both her and her friend had their obi tied in gorgeous musubi! I had a picture, but I didn't realize it was blurry... Their obi were admired by many of the women at the reception!There were so many beautiful kimono at the event! And a variety of different kimono ranging from formal to informal. I even saw a lady in a nice yukata, but she wasn't at the Kimono de Jack reception.
Everyone enjoyed some food at the reception. It was mostly sushi and egg rolls. There was also sake and bottled tea. I only ate a dorayaki and a bit of Calpico. I should have eaten more. I don't know if it was the excitement or my obi tied too tightly and compressing my stomach, but I couldn't bring myself to eat more. I regretted it, because my stomach started growling during the second half of the concert.
Yumi's friend Kayoka asked me to help adjust her obi, Yumi secretly snapped pictures!

Yumi and Kayoka

The Seattle Japanese Queen, Frederica, showed up to the Kimono de Jack reception! She looks so beautiful in her stunning furisode!

Akemi Sagawa of the Japan America Society Seattle. She has such a stunning smile!

We posed for more pictures at the reception with the Seattle Japanese Queen, Frederica.
Kayoka, Frederica, me, and Naomi Minegishi of the Asian Art Museum.
Yumi, Frederica, and me.
There were a lot of photographers there, and a reporter from the North American Post. The reporter, Rie, was very nice. She interviewed many people, but I think she took interest in the small number of us gaijin. I was interviewed many times. I let it slip to her that I had a rather... sizable kimono collection... eep! That question always generates many gasps followed by many more questions! I forgot that she was a reporter until she suddenly pulled out a a notepad and pen and I thought "oh shoot, what did I just say?!" Rie and I ended up chatting a lot through the night as we ended up being seated next to each other at the concert!

The Seattle Japanese Queen getting ready to go to the pre-concert performances. We were led in small groups to be escorted through the building to elevators to go to the main lobby of Benaroya hall. This was wonderful because we only had to go outside for a brief moment, otherwise we would have had to walk around the outside of the building in the rain.

In the lobby were pre-concert performances. It was rather dark so pictures were very difficult.
The first performance was the Okinawa Kenjin-Kai Taiko.
Then there was and Indian music performance, followed by Balinese Legong Dance.
Then there was a Chinese Lion Dance, which lead the way into the concert hall.

I tried to get video, but it was very dark and crowded.

The concert was great. I haven't been to a concert since I was in high school!
During intermission there were more photographs taken! Everyone was looking for a chance to get pictures taken with people dressed in all the different Asian clothing. All through the night I felt like a celebrity of some sort. I don't know how many people requested to pose for photos with me. I managed to only request a few.
Me and Eunju Kim, Korean community leader.

After the concert we entered to lobby to see One World Taiko performing on the upper balcony. It was a wonderful night! I think the Japan America Society is looking forward to doing this again each year!

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