Monday, June 7, 2010


What's a Kimono? Well, looking at the Kanji, 着物, the first character (ki) means to wear and the second (mono) means thing. So, to put it simply, it's just something to wear!

Although everyone in Japan wore Kimonos in the past. I only see a few people walking around in them here. Kimonos are very expensive. Then there is the Yukata, which is like a Kimono but with less layers of cloth and less expensive ;) and both are only worn for special occasions. Fortunately, I got to try on a kimono at an AFS tea ceremony. Unfortunately, my camera died once the ceremony started.

But to start, we first had to put on a certain undergarment. Then following, the main part, and then a thick sash across the waist (which reminded me of a corset).

At the beginning of the ceremony, all of us AFSers sat down on the tatami (traditional Japanese) mat, in the traditional style (seiza). Seiza, is a way of sitting down on a tatami mat, kneeling with your feet crossed underneath you.

I lost feeling in my feet after sitting like this for seven minutes.

And a few of us had trouble standing up after it.

But, during the ceremony, we were served green tea in bowls. (Which, was served facing us. Therefore, when we received the tea we had to turn the bowl twice clockwise so the front was facing away from us while we were drinking). Also, whenever we had to bow during the ceremony, it literally was on hands and knees.

Well, guess that's all for now! :)


  1. You have a great AFS support group to give you these wonderful cultural experiences! How exciting to learn about Kimonos, Yukatas and traditional tea ceremonies!

  2. I guess we can dismiss the common perception or stereotype about daily use of the kimono in 2010!Your updates are simply fascinating, long-distance windows opened to your daily experiences. I enjoy your frequent posts and always anticipate your next adventure.

  3. HELLO! i'm applying for a student exchange in Japan too! any advice?

  4. 日本 sounds so much fun. I wish my parents would let me go there for an exchange trip. I really want to go to a Japanese high school!

  5. Hey Emily!!!
    That's awesome!! Do you know what program you're going with?
    Hmm.. well I dont want to spoil too much but make sure you know about the culture and some language (I went with almost no language and was really behind). If you have any questions, feel free to email me!

    ninja- Try to go to 日本 if you can! I promise you'll have a blast! :)