Taisho Komon–Bog Witch

Misty Silhouettes Of Bamboo Leaves And Blood Red Dragonflies On Sheer Black Silk.

I’m going to take a pretty big risk here. I’m going to open this giant, gaping hole in the center of my face, and I’m going to challenge the Old Gods at their game, and possibly summon their wrath to my back yard personally: it’s been a pretty mild summer here so far in Chicagoland. And of course, now that I’ve said that, I expect heat lasers any moment now. In all seriousness–I know it’s absolutely roasting elsewhere, and I hope everyone is keeping as cool as they can. Scary shit, man. Scary. Shit.

Today I’m showcasing this lovely beast. If I knew nothing about kimono, it qualifies as summer hoe clothes. Because I do know more than nothing about kimono, I know that it’s a very fine sha silk for summer. And oh boy did this one just appeal to my inner angsty goth girl who may or may not collect random bones…

Pictured: TEEF

…and maybe put a motherfucker in a jar during the new moon every now and again. You know, when the weather calls for it.


Direct from an Issei Japanese immigrant at a flea market, I was given a pretty solid history on this one. In spite of the choppiness in language due to translation, it was understandable enough. This lovely girl dates from 1925.

This wasn’t a restoration effort. It’s in really good shape for its age. I did remove some minor water damage, a few scuffs that were just surface grime, and I have stabilized a few pinholes here and there. Nothing I would call laborious or worrisome. There’s no sign of fraying or shattering anywhere, no odors to worry about. I did notice, when I first got it some almost ten years ago now, that it had quite a lot of material in the seam allowance. So this probably qualifies as the first full-sized kimono that did major resizing on–beforehand it was just haori (jackets) because those are easy. I let out the side panels and the few panels leading up to the front to better accommodate my… -looks down- large tracks of land.

This is a komon, which is a women’s casual kimono. This would be everyday street wear. Just look at the sheerness of this thing, it was meant to be as comfortable as possible. So you bet your sweet ass I wasn’t binding up dem tiddies just for the sake of the magazine kimono silhouette in a garment like this. The woman who wore this in the 20’s probably didn’t worry too much about a perfectly straight line, either, so I’m sure as fuck not going to. Show me one photo from the Taisho Era that matches perfect kitsuke standards of today. Fucking point it out.

Pictured: “Padding? Biiitch, it is hot.” -Her probably

There’s a double edged sword with how sheer this thing is. On the one hand, it’s so light and liquid smooth on the skin that when I once wore it on a 100°F (37°C) August day in Baltimore, the breeze made me feel like it was made of goddamn magic. On the other hand, If you look at the the wrong way, it wrinkles. If you fold it and look away, it will become a knot. On the hideous third hand that protrudes from the center of my stomach (…what…), a very light touch of steam releases wrinkles almost instantly.

I keep talking about how sheer this kimono is. How sheer is it, you ask? Well:

Pictured: Hoe Phoenix?

You can see this furisode through the sleeve when I hold it up. And:

Pictured: Hoe Mirror?

Look, my dresser, my watch, a few bells, and this kyodai that I restored. But let’s be honest. Did you actually need me to tell you what you can see through it, or are you wondering what that plate of dust is, too, because you can see it just fine? (It catches incense dust. Do not snort that.)

So why did I call this entry “bog witch?” Well, if a bog witch were going to wear a kimono, it would probably be this one. I don’t own very many komon because they usually bore me and blaaaaaah, but I was attached to this one so hard when I first saw it. It’s so ethereal. I feel otherworldly in it.

This is wonderfully decorated sha silk with ghostly white sasa (bamboo leaves) and brilliantly blood red tombo (dragonflies). The perfect everyday wear for any bog witch, really.

I didn’t have very much to say about this one. I just wanted to show it off. Mmmm. Indulgence. And I get to do that because I’m the manager, nobody pays me, and my screeching to the wind sustains me. Life is good.


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