March 31, 2012

Magazine Scan: Cawaii, Aug. 2007

These are just the pages scanned from the Aug. 2007 issue of Cawaii that have pictures of yukata. Years ago when I purchased this at the bookstore, I had to get the Chinese version because the Japanese version was sold out. So, no translations this time.

I love the sheerness of her yukata.

March 30, 2012

Book Scan: Nezumi no Yomeiri

Here is the second children's book I have from the Hikari no Kuni, Koe no Ehon series. This one is the folk tale - Nezumi no Yomeiri. The mice are adorably drawn. For some reason, I am enchanted by the mother mouse in the drawings. The daughter mouse is very cute and I love her kimono, but the mother mouse seems to have a fun personality. Especially in the first picture that you see the mother mouse, she looks to be telling gossip to father mouse!

There is a song, I was not able to find any examples of the song on the internet. I don't know if this is a traditional song or if it is a song composed for this record book. I will, however include the romanized lyrics, for anyone who can read music and would like to sing along.
Click on the images to view them larger.

Audio Picture Book #38
The Mouse's Marriage

Here are the lyrics to the song. I will give the translation here, and the romaji lyrics below.

The Mouse's Marriage

A mouse ready to marry, is looking for a husband
They have searched all over, but surely it will be a mouse
Squeak squeak squeak
Squeak squeak squeak
The mice all congratulate

If the bride is a mouse
The best choice of husband is surely a mouse
Squeak squeak squeak
Squeak squeak squeak
The mice all congratulate

Yomeiri nezumi no, muko sagashi
Sagashi mawatta, mita keredo
Yappari nezumi de gozaimasu
Chu' chu' chu'
Chu' chu' chu'
Nezumi doushi de omedetou

Hanayome-sama ga, nezumi nara
Sangokuichi no omuko-sama
Yappari nezumi de gozaimasu
Chu' chu' chu'
Chu' chu' chu'
Nezumi doushi de omedetou

There once was a wealthy mouse family. The daughter was very lovely, and had many offers for marriage.
"I want my daughter to marry the greatest person in the world."
Just who could be the greatest person in the world?

"It is Mr. Sun, of course."
"I see! Because it is Mr. Sun that lights up the entire world."
So then the mice went to Mr. Sun and said,
"Mr. Sun, will you please marry our daughter?"
"Hoho, I'm sorry. Actually, there is someone who is much greater than I am."
"And who could that be?"
"The Cloud. Even if I am shining bright, I can be completely covered up by the fluffy Cloud."
"I see."

The mice went to the Cloud and said,
"You are the greatest Cloud in the world, will you please marry my daughter?"
"Impossible. I am not the greatest in the world. There is one who is greater than I am."
"Who could that be?"
"Mr. Wind. Even if I try my best to blanket the sky, I am blown away by Mr. Wind."
"Squeak squeak squeak, therefore Mr. Wind is the greatest in the world."
"Then let's give our daughter to Mr. Wind."

"Mr. Wind, will you accept my daughter?"
"I am grateful, but there is one who is stronger than me. Mr. Wall. Even if I blow with all my might, he won't budge at all."
The mice pleaded with the wall,
"Mr. Wall, Mr. Wall, Please accept our daughter."

Nevertheless, the wall also refused.
"Mr. Mouse, there is something that can defeat me."
"Now, who could that be?"
"It is mice. When you chew on me I become full of holes."
"I see. Therefore, the greatest in the world are mice after all."
"Then, father, lets have our daughter marry a mouse."
Therefore, the mouse father and mother decided on the mouse that lived next door.
Come, tonight is a joyous wedding ceremony.
The mouse daughter and the mouse husband lived happily ever after.

I find the image on the back of the book absolutely adorable. She looks like a little mouse maiko-san!

You can read the other children's book I have from this series here.

March 24, 2012

My son's heko obi!

My son's heko obi arrived in the mail yesterday! The color is a little darker than I thought it would be, but that makes it better! That means it coordinates well with other fabrics I plan to make into yukata for my son.
The dark color also helps it looks a bit more masculine, in my opinion. I was worried that daddy wouldn't like it because of the flowers (and I admit, kimono is sort of dress-like to some men), but daddy likes it a lot.

The color looks good with his yukata.

I played dress up with my son, to see how the heko obi looked with his yukata.
A victory pose? He was having fun making a mess in his room. He doesn't know that kimono is different from other clothes ^_^
He likes playing with the sleeves. I sort of like longer sleeves, even on boys, but this yukata looks cute on him.

Baby boy, where is your neck??

The length is still too long. I still need to shorten it, but I am waiting until closer to matsuri time. He is growing very fast...
He is so little, the obi bow looks very big for him!

Big bow on his back! Now I just need to buy some cute sandals for him. He likes to wear my geta around the house, and we giggle over him stumbling around. I have a pair of old children's geta that are almost small enough for his feet, but they are hard for him to walk in and clunky, and the straps and pink and black. Just regular sandals for him, I think.

Dancing! I will probably tie his obi more narrow on his waist, and try better to center the shibori on the front. But I tied it wide to hide the temporary (and pink) koshihimo that was holding up the extra length of his yukata!

And it looks like the heko obi will look good with the fabric I am going to use to make another yukata for my son. Dinosaurs!! It is actually a bed sheet, but I liked the pattern very much and thought it would make a cute yukata.

Papercrafts and slight hiatus

I haven't had much time for kimono related activities lately. I've been concentrating on papercrafts and taking care of my kitty cat. I've actually downsized my collection, so I have few coordinations to work with anymore, and what I do have needs alterations. Honestly, it is starting matsuri season here in the Seattle area, so mostly I've been working on getting my yukata collection ready. I know many kimono lovers don't care much for yukata, but for some reason the opportunities to wear yukata far outweigh opportunities for other types of kimono in Seattle. Strange, since the weather generally isn't as nice here as it is in other areas of the world. And my family will agree to wear yukata with me!

Anyways, the only kimono item I've been working on is a yukata tsuke obi. I have plenty of yukata, but a lack of yukata obi. If my sister and nieces decide they want to wear yukata to a matsuri this year, I need to make sure I have enough of everything. The obi I am making is to go with this yukata:
The obi I am making is the same color as what is pictured, apple green. The obi I used in the picture is actually a nagoya obi tied so that the design of the obi does not show. I like the green color with this yukata. I've tried it with a red obi as well, since I usually see similar orangy-yellow yukata with red obi, but I did not like the look of it at all.

The Seattle Cherry Blossom festival is this April, but I don't know if me or my family will dress up. My family likes to wear yukata, but the weather has been so yucky (it snowed earlier this week!). I suppose I am going to have to decide when it gets closer to festival time.

Anyways, I am still rather excited for Kodomo no Hi, and have been working on more toys and papercrafts for Kodomo no Hi. Here is what I've done so far:
I wanted to make some more toys for my son to play with. First I made a den den daiko.
I made it out of cardstock, using this pattern. It sounds great! And it is fairly sturdy. My husband was playing with it, more vigorously than I liked, but the paper held up just fine. I think my toddler will be able to play with it without breaking it too quickly.

Then I made a tiger pop-up toy:
You press it flat and press down on it's body and it pops up using a rubber band strung through it's body. It doesn't always work, and the printer ink is rubbing off, but oh well. The pattern printout makes two tigers, one slightly smaller than the other. They are both rather small and surprisingly not as easy to make as it looks.

Another tiger:
I sometimes see toy tigers as Kodomo no Hi (Tango no Sekku) decorations, and my son was born in the year of the tiger, so making tiger toys made sense to me.

A kazaguruma!
It turns really well, maybe better than plastic windmill toys I remember having as a child.

A taketombo!
I remember playing with a taketombo when exchange students visited my Japanese class. I remember the taketombo being temperamental, but this flies very well, and high! I can make it fly everytime. Maybe because it is so light because it is made of cardstock paper. I think my son will love this one!

Flash Cards
Ok, this isn't related to Kodomo no Hi or Japanese toys, but my son is at the age that he might like playing with flash cards.

I've already made one koinobori toy for my son to play with, here are some more I've done in the last few days:
You can't see the whole thing, but this is just a single paper koinobori tied with string to a large cooking chopstick. I printed the koinobori from this site, but I enlarged it so that it would print larger. The cooking chopsticks already have a hole through it because the two sticks were originally tied together. My son has already played with this one and he loves it! It reminds him of a cat toy, so he immediately waves it around and chases after the cat with it! I also practiced making origami kabuto.

A miniature koinobori set with origami koi. I like the look of the Japanese paper toys next to the bright colored retro looking toys. Maybe if I do a display I will include some of my son's toys.

This is my favorite miniature koinobori I've made so far. It is so cute! The pattern is here. I have a pattern for one other koinobori papercraft, but I don't think I will make it, since this one I have is very nice. Here is the link for the other one if anyone else would like to make it.

Collection of paper toys so far!
I also made some paper airplanes. My son (and my cat) had fun playing with paper airplanes this week, and I love the retro patterns on these ones.

I mentioned my kitty cat, Matrix. My cat had to go in for surgery, again. Months ago he got a hematoma on his ear, from having an ear infection. He never showed any signs that his ears were bothering him, so the hematoma caught us by surprise. He had two surgeries then and got better, but now he got another hematoma on his other ear. This time the vet can not figure out what caused it. She said it is rare for cats to get repeat hematomas, and thinks he may have a rare skin condition or allergies.
My cat's new hematoma is larger than the last one, but the vet still said it was very small. I guess they can swell up and cover the whole ear.
You can see his left ear is bent down at the tip, from the weight of the hematoma. His right ear has a wrinkle in it from the last hematoma.
Matrix is doing just fine. His ears look a little funny. He's dealing with the cone around his neck, and he has been enjoying lots of attention.

March 14, 2012

Book Scan: Nursery Rhymes

About 10 years ago, I found a couple of old Japanese children's books at my local thrift store. The art in the books are sooo cute, I couldn't resist the black marble eyes of the little girls in the drawings. These books originally came with LP records to sing along to, but none came with my used. I don't know how old the books are, and they are rare to find pictures from the series on the internet, so I figured I just had to share.

This one is book #41 of the series (I don't know how many there are, the back of the book only lists up to book #40). This one is a collection of Japanese children's songs. I will include translations and romanization of the lyrics, and links to the songs, for those who would like to learn the songs. Please click on the images to make them larger.

Audio Picture Book
Golden Sheet 41
Bright Country, LP 33 1/3 rpm
Children's Songs - part 1

This page contains instructions for moms on singing with children and on how to use the vocal sheets that weren't included when I bought the books.

Ame / Rain
Ame ga furimasu, ame ga furu
Asobi ni yukitashi, kasa wa nashi
Beni o no kakko mo, o ga kireta

Ame ga furimasu, ame ga furu
Iya demo ouchi de, asobimashou
Chiyogami orimashou, tatamimashou

It's raining, it's raining
I want to play but don't have my parasol
The strap broke on my crimson geta (clogs, "kakko")

It's raining, it's raining
I don't want to, but let's play inside
Let's fold chiyogami, let's fold

This Youtube video has more lyrics than the children's book has, the uploader has included romaji lyrics in the video description.

Juu-nin no Indian / 10 Little Indians
This one is the American children's song, 10 Little Indians, in Japanese! (note: the Japanese version doesn't include "little" in the lyrics, it translates to simply "there are 1, 2, 3 of them")

Hitori, futari, san-nin iru yo
Yo-nin, go-nin, roku-nin iru yo
Shichi-ni, hachi-nin, ku-nin iru yo
Juu-nin no indian booizu

Juu-nin, ku-nin, hachi-nin iru yo
Shichi-nin, roku-nin, go-nin iru yo
Yo-nin, san-nin, futari iru yo
Hitori no indian booi

One little, two little, three little Indians
Four little, five little, six little Indians
Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
Ten little Indian boys

Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians
Seven little, six little, five little Indians
Four little, three little, two little Indians
One little Indian boy

Here is the audio, sing along!

Ningyou / Doll
Watashi no ningyou wa, yoi ningyou
Me wa pacchiri to, irojiro de
Chiisai kuchi moto, airashii
Watashi no ningyou wa, yoi ningyou

Watashi no ningyou wa, yoi ningyou
Uta o utaeba, nen'neshite
Hitori de oitemo, nakimasen
Watashi no ningyou wa, yoi ningyou

My doll is a good doll
Her eyes are big and beautiful, and has fair-complexion
Her small mouth is lovely
My doll is a good doll

My doll is a good doll
When I sing a song, she goes beddy-bye
She doesn't cry if left alone
My doll is a good doll

Here is a video with the song, and a dance performed by two very cute little girls!

人形 from alte Jungfer on Vimeo.

Katatsumuri / Snail
Den den mushi mushi, katatsumuri
Omae no atama wa, doko ni aru
Tsuno dase yari dase, atama dase

Den den mushi mushi, katatsumuri
Omae no medama wa, doko ni aru
Tsuno dase yari dase, medama dase

Snail, snail
Where is your head?
Stick out your horns, stick out your antenna, stick out your head

Snail, snail
Where are your eyeballs?
Stick out your horns, stick out your antenna, stick out your eyeballs

(note: dendenmushi, and katatsumuri both mean snail)

Omacha no maachi / March of the Toys
Yattoko yattoko, kuridashita
Omocha no maachi ga, ra'ta'ta'
Ningyou no heitai, seizoroi
O-uma mo ko-inu mo, ra'ta'ta'

Yattoko yattoko, hitomawari
Kyuupi mo Poppo mo, ra'ta'ta'
Furansu ningyou mo, tobidashite
Fuefukya taiko ga, pan para pan

Yo-ho! Yo-ho! Here they come
The march of the toys go rat-a-tat-tat
Soldier dolls all lined up
The horses and puppies go rat-a-tat-tat

Yo-ho! Yo-ho! Going around
Kewpie and toy trains go rat-a-tat-tat
Even the French doll joins in
The flutes and drummers go pan para pan

Here is the song, although the video has nothing to do with marching toys... They also use "wanwa" for the word puppy instead of "koinu". This song is fun, I sing it to my son!

You can see the other book I have from this series here.

March 09, 2012

WWII Momotarou Kimono

I figured this boy's kimono would be good to display for Kodomo no Hi (Tango no Sekku). Unfortunately it is old and the fabric of the front right panel is disintegrating. But the design is still handsome!
The motifs of this kimono are samurai items.

This is a saihai, an item that samurai use to signal troops.

A gunbai uchiwa, war fan, also for signalling troops. The gunbai says Nippon Ichi Momotarou (Japan's best, Momotarou). Momotarou is a folk story, translated to "Peach Boy" in English. Momotarou dolls are often displayed on Tango no Sekku (Kodomo no Hi). Momotarou was especially popular during WWII. I want to say this kimono is probably from the WWII era.

A motif of Kabuto, samurai helmet, also makes me think of Kodomo no Hi (Tango no Sekku)

A fan with Hinomaru design, and an arrow.

I am not entirely sure on this motif. It appears to be a sign post that says 金礼 (kin-rei?). I can't find any translation for this, so my best guess is golden gift? I'm not entirely sure.

Here you can see the damage of the disintegrating fabric. Most of the kimono is fine, but this part is brittle and the fabric snaps apart like ancient parchment.