Black townwear with urushi clouds

All-over urushi kimonos are quite a rare find.

black urushi kimonoI bought this kimono several years ago, from Ryujapan.

Ryuji often describes his kimonos simply as ‘weave’ but it was clear from the photos that it’s actually urushi. I was very excited when I saw it because although I have numerous all-over-urushi haoris, all-over-urushi kimono are harder to find. I have only ever seen about four, and I’ve bid on all of them.

The stylised whirly cloud design is a typical Japanese motif, and the urushi is laid in a typical way – mainly in gold, but with additions of silver, bronze and pink to liven it up, and with some blocks more solid than others. It’s a subtle and beautiful kimono.

urushi closeupThe lining is rust-red silk and the hem is nicely rolled – altogether it’s a very good quality kimono, as you would expect from the urushi, which was always an expensive treatment. It’s a Showa era kimono, probably 1960s, and has quite long sleeves, and the quality silk causes it to drape gracefully.

I have never worn this kimono, being always too worried about spoiling it, and currently, it’s hanging on the wall. At 1200g, it’s way too heavy for summer, but now that I’m becoming braver about wearing my kimonos, I plan to wear it for posh winter evenings when the nights draw in.

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