Antique Sanpogi–I Bought This Out Of Spite

A Waterfall Of Textures And Colors Interrupted By Figural Chrysanthemums.

Yeah hi, you ever hate something so much you buy it? I don’t usually, but this happened. It’s worth noting that it wasn’t expensive. I’ve spent more on fat kid night doordash than I spent on this kimono, but it literally found its way into my house for these reasons: I hate it, and it had some stains to remove, I found it to be weird looking.

But why do I hate this? Because in the kindest way I can describe it, it looks like an Easter egg. And when that wasn’t enough for them, they interrupted the Easter eggness with random-ass orange lines. And when that wasn’t enough for them either, the plastered it with these big fluffy minimalist if not straight up figural flowers that I’m like 90% sure are kiku (chrysanthemums). And to add insult to injury, it’s gloriously soft with a sweet and perfect jimon (woven patterns) of sakura (cherry blossom). Suffice to say, this couldn’t be more spring if someone literally stapled some fucking tulips to it.

I’m glad they didn’t. It does not need more colors randomly strewn about.

So why would I bother to spend money and then a great deal of effort to remove stains from a kimono I hate? Well you see, sometimes I just need to see weird things in person. Seeing as how it would be especially psychotic to wander down to the sellers house several states away and knock on the door to ram my face into their wares, my option was to shell out the $40 for the experience. And experience it I did!

It is exactly as obnoxious in person as it is in photo.

There were a few stains on it. I think probably food stains, although they didn’t taste like anything. LOL, that’s right. For those of you who are new to my whimsical fuckery, I am known to investigate stains before I set about my method of removing it. Sometimes investigating it means just kinda touching my tongue to it real quick. And lemme tell you, I have tasted some things. I know the answers to some questions no one should ever even think to ask, such as “Is that decades old blood?” and “Is this too high up to reasonably be jizz?” Living the goddamn dream over here.

I think this was probably a sauce though. I didn’t take any “before” pictures and that’s not because I hate you. It’s because I was never sure I was going to make this blog entry. Not every kimono I bring in gets one, and this one was a hard maybe. But here’s what’s left of it. Sometimes you can’t get the whole stain out, but you can get really close:

Pictured: Close enough.

So, what even is this monster? This lovely beast is a sanpogi, or literally a “stroll outfit.” Sanpogi feature an all over design and a mirrored design on the hem. It is my understanding that this is a trend that died with the war. And with my whole heart, that is a tragedy. Maybe I find this one to be kind of obnoxious, but there are some downright glorious sanpogi out there. I have no provenance on this piece, hence the “antique” label, although I’m pretty confident that this is a 20’s piece. Fight me. Burn test indicates silk.

When I was done with it, I took my pictures, I did my tidying, and then I gave it the fuck away. That’s right, this kimono is no longer in my possession. It has actually returned to Japan! This antique–most certainly pre-WWII with its decadent and perfect red lining–kimono has made some very long journies, and now lives with someone who thinks it’s just one of the coolest damn things she’s ever seen. The lovely Emily, who you should follow because she’s a fucking delight, is now the proud owner of this piece.

Thanks to her and the amazing Roza, I have learned that my pieces apparently smell like goddamn heaven. Here’s Emily huffing it like, quote, “goddamn paint” before trying it on.

True story, one of my specialties is odor removal. But if you ever meet the Becky, please do not snort the Becky. I am very likely to get stuck in your nasal passageways and asphxiation is a real possibility.

I now have an absolute stack of kimono to photograph, so expect October to be a significantly more lively month. I’m hoping to have a new pigment replacement tutorial up in the near future as well. It’s a bit of a complicated process, so I want to be as sure as possible. And in the very near future, I’ll be done with those tansu trainwrecks. Rock and or roll?

So this whole September was kind of a waste. A lot of things about the whole anxiety ball that I am are gonna get worse before they get better, because getting better means facing what happened. I had to stand up to a really hard anniversary. It went better than it could have, and worse than I wanted. But I’m still here, trying to dig out. Thanks for being here with me, strangers. 💜


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