Thursday, July 26, 2012


Today I decided to venture to Seiyu and buy a yukata, a Japanese summer kimono.  I've been eyeing them as I go up and down the escalator shopping for other things, but I had never stopped on the women's clothing floor to take a proper look.  I always thought, "They can't possibly fit me" and went on my way.  I'm a good eight inches taller than the 5'2" average Japanese female according to official statistics by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (thank you Wikipedia).  Anything made and sold in Japan couldn't possibly fit someone my size and height.  So I usually passed by, gazing longingly as I made my way up to another floor.

But I really wanted a yukata.  We're going to a summer festival on Sunday and I wanted to be dressed appropriately and festively.  I can't go to a Japanese summer festival in Japan not dressed in a real Japanese yukata.  That would be blasphemy (or something along those lines), not to mention less fun and exciting.  So, before class started, I asked my female teacher, Moromizato-sensei, if it would be difficult for me to buy a yutaka, knowing that I'm much taller than the general population.  However, she told me that I wouldn't have to worry because yutakas are made really long to begin with.  The way they are worn requires you to pull it up and fold it at your waist and other such things in order to look right.  So, if I were to buy one it would already be long enough because they are made super long on purpose.  Of course, this made me really excited.  I could wear a yukata!

So, after all my classes were over, I dropped off my books at my apartment and headed to the store.  Up on the fourth floor I stepped off the escalator and headed onto the battlefield determined to come away with a right and proper yukata.  However, being the person I am, I was also scared.  How did I know which one to get?  There were different prices and different brands.  What if I bought one that was too short?  What if I bought a kids one?  So many worries!  Fortunately I was able to hunt down a nearby sales associate to ask for help in broken Japanese.  I let her know as best I could that I was looking for the longest one they had, and soon she was going around the aisle checking the tag for sizes.  Before long we discovered that the longest size they had was 165cm.  

I had no idea what that meant.  Would it be right for me?  She started saying something in Japanese about a little short, or ankles or something.  She motioned to one of the manikins wearing a yukata in the process as well and asked me if I was okay.  I tried asking her if it was okay if it was short but I don't think she understood my broken Japanese as much as I couldn't completely understand her perfect Japanese.  So, I told her everything was okay and thanked her.  Whether it was too short or not I would deal with it when I got home.  

Once the sales associate had gone back to her work I returned to browsing through the 165cm yukatas.  There were many pretty patterns to choose from, so finding a nice one wouldn't be a problem.  I just had to narrow down my search, which was a pretty easy thing to do in the end.

Did I want one that came with geta?  No.  I was already worried about whether it would be long enough and by looking at the shoes I could tell that they would be way to small.  

Search narrowed.

Did I want want with a pre-tied obi sash?  Yes.  I was already worried about whether it would be long enough.  I didn't want to struggle with tying a sash properly as well.

Search narrowed.

Did I want one for 9900円 or 4000円?  4000円.  I was already worried about whether it would be long enough.  I didn't want one that was too small and expensive.

Search narrowed.

Now, all I had to do was pick the right pattern.  There were many to choose from.  Pinks, purples, and blues.  All sorts of pretty flowery patterns with matching sashes and pre-tied bows all ready for me to pluck off the rack and take home with me.

Oh?  You want to know which one I chose?  Well, you'll just have to wait and see after the summer festival as I continue on my adventure in the land of the rising sun.

1 comment:

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