Since its foundation in Muromachi, Kyoto in 1855, OKAJIMA has engaged in various kimono dyeing artistries. Kimono used to be worn by people as daily clothes in the old days.
In our modern life, however, people order kimono made to their liking for special occasions such as dining with friends, tea ceremonies, weddings and formal ceremonies.
"I want to order a set of kimono, but I don't know how."
"I wonder how much it will cost?"
"I know when I need it, but I'm not sure how long it will take to have one made."
For many people, getting a set of kimono nowadays is far outside their daily life.
"One day my usual group of friends got together at a French restaurant. One of my friends showed up late, wearing a kimono. 'I put it on by myself," she said, 'took me longer than I had expected, though,' she added, chuckling shyly. Her kimono was a light indigo colour with subtle patterns of simple plum flowers and bamboo leaves. By adding a woven obi (sash) and wisteria-colored belt, the whole outfit makes a beautiful gradation of colour. It wasn't showy, but as I took a closer look, I couldn't help being fascinated by its elegant colour coordination and clever design. Our dining on that day was filled with lively kimono talk; 'Kimono are great! I want to try one.'"
Excerpt from 'Made-to-Order Kimono in Kyoto' in the "Traveling Kyoto Life" published in autumn 2013.