Kimono 'Etiquette' Question

I have a question on what is proper in regards to wearing a kimono. My daughter’s grandmother in Japan sent her a very elaborate kimono last year for…well I’m not sure what for but we’ve only really used it once. I don’t know exactly the type of kimono it is but you can see it here.

Tomorrow the local Japanese charter school is holding an Obon festival and I’m going to be taking my daughter there and thought it would be nice to let her wear the kimono. Initially I was going to just remove the outer jacket because of the heat, but apparently it’s going to be pretty hot out here tomorrow and I’m not sure she’d be comfortable in the heavy kimono. There is a very light weight pink kimono underneath that I believe is called a nagajuban. The collar is lined with a fabric close to style of the outer kimono.

My question is, would it be ok for her to just wear that? I know it’s just a small festival but I don’t want her walking around in ‘underwear’ should there be anyone there who would knows what they’re looking at. Thanks!

No, that’s pretty underweary… You need a cotton yukata or a jinbei for a summer festival. Sorry!

Darn. She’s gonna be really disappointed. She really wanted to wear it. My mom still insists it’ll be ok but since I’ll be taking pictures to send to her Japanese grandma, I think it’s better not to. Don’t want to come off completely as an ignorant American about these things XD Thanks!

That is sad… Next spring why don’t you ask Japanese Grandma for a cotton summer yukata for Obon? No point now and your daughter will grow, but next spring or early summer will give Obaachan a chance to shop for it and send it. There are some really lovely ones - the girls look like little butterflies!

For tomorrow, how about just the outer kimono without the nagajuban or jacket, and no tabi socks? Not superly correct but not too bad either. Her outfit is just so cute, it’s such a shame not to use it…

I think we’re going with just a sundress. It’s gonna be in the high 90s here today and the outer kimono is really thick. I don’t think she’d be able to enjoy herself in it. That’s a good idea about asking her gramma. I’ll try, but I feel bad asking for things directly since I’m not married to her son anymore.

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I bet that she loves her granddaughter, and I have a feeling that she would be pleased that you’re invested enough in her heritage to want to do things right.

I also bet if she’s anything like american grammas, that she would love a chance to have even more photographs of her granddaughter looking absolutely beyond adorable to show off to friends, neighbors, and random clerks at the grocery store. :slight_smile:

How old is your daughter? Did she turn 5 or 7 last year? Could the kimono be for Shichi-go-san?

Yeah I know she loves her a lot, I just feel bad asking for things XD I think I’ll just word it so that it’s clear I wanted a yukata but didn’t have one available and hopefully it’ll be better next year.

And yes, she loves photographs but I doubt she shows them off. From what I hear from my ex, our divorce caused a lot of ‘shame’ for his family. It’s to the point where no one in his family ever discusses our daughter amongst themselves and he has to avoid going outside during the day so that people in the village don’t see him. It seems a bit…extreme to me but I don’t see why he’d lie about it.

**TokyoBayer **she turned 3 last year so yeah, that’s probably what it was for. I live in Oregon, near Portland so there’s a pretty healthy Japanese population and culture here but it’s hard for me to take her places since I really worry about doing things ‘wrong’ XD After the Obon today, I feel pretty confident that I’m doing it right more often than I thought, given the things I saw lol

Aww, so pretty! I love the traditions :slight_smile: Angelsoft, I don’t think you could really lose out by exploring the International District in Portland <or whatever it’s called now; been over 20 years since I lived in Portland>. Just explore, the two of you; you might learn a lot, and shouldn’t feel embarassed or anything. :slight_smile:

Japanese still aren’t as casual about divorces, especially in the country side / villages. My ex-wife has never told many of her friends that we got divorced, and we didn’t even have kids. One of her best friend’s friend worked at one of my customers. That woman would tell people I was married to her friend. :o

I think it’s really good that you able to keep up the relationship with your former in-laws. That more often than not doesn’t happen in Japan.