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Japanese Hair and Dressing Kimono

Nihongami (traditional Japanese hairstyles)

Nihongami (traditional Japanese hairstyles) had evolved together with the changes in the kimono styles in different eras. The uniqueness of Japanese kimono has largely influenced the traditional Japanese hair styles.

The current styles of Nihongami have derived from the ones from around 300 years ago. One of the characteristics of women's kimono today is that the back of the neck area is often wide open. This characteristic derived from the flamboyant Obi-sash evolution along with the fabric manufacturing technology development. The tradition of widely opening the back of the neck area came about to give some overall balance to the strikingly brilliant Obi area. This evolution led to the hair style development of pulling the hair upwards, which eventually gave the Nihongami hair style variations.

The hair stylists who actually can handle Nihongami, however, have become much less frequent together with the decrease of the kimono wearer population. Japanese today usually wear kimono at only a few special occasions in their adult lifetime: mostly just at the coming-of-age and marriage celebrations and at funeral ceremonies. Also, there are many girls these days with short hairstyles, so it has become quite common for girls today wearing kimono keeping their short hair.

At kimono shows, however, we feel necessary to introduce at least some of the Nihongami stles in order to display the traditional elements. The hair stylists require to go through special training sessions in order to be able to handle the Nihongami styles, which usually need several years to master.

Mami Inari  (Hair designer for Japanese traditional performance)

Mami Inari was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. She worked at a hair salon for 7 years and was able to gain a lot of skills and experience there. Since she moved to NY, she has gained experience doing NY fashion shows and weddings and also, she has been doing makeup for models for magazines or websites.

The motto is ”Constantly trying new things gives my life value”

Dressing Kimono

Kimono has approximately over 1500 years of history. Kimono shapes have not basically changed since the fabric for making any kimono has almost always been from a 12 meter long, 36 centimeter wide shaped cloth. Also, kimono itself does not have any button or hook, so wearing kimono is basically wrapping and tying the body with the fabric and strings with special shaping techniques. This means wearing a kimono is actually a very intricate process and requires some extensive training and there are actually schools for learning how to wear a kimono.

The more fancy the kimono upgrades, the more difficult the wearing process becomes, so special occasion kimono types cannot be worn yourself, but require other people's help just to properly wear them. There are licensed professionals with special training to help people wear a kimono as well. Without the knowledge and good amount of experience, you cannot even wear a kimono or help others wear it.

JPA has these professionals, Mami Inari and Yukari Mizuuchi with their specialties in hair styling and kimono wearing.

Yukari Mizuuchi ( Kimono Dresser )  

Yukari is from Saitama, Japan. She graduated from a beauty school in Tokyo and worked at a hair salon in a top fashion district in Tokyo, Omotesando for three years. After that, she became a freelance as a kimono dresser,hair designer and came to New York in 2012. She is a Kimono evangelist and participates in events and shows as a hair designer ,Kimono dresser and kimono lecturer.