my mom’s kimono
scanned before passed onto sis
senryu by M. Nakazato LaFreniere
This is a scan of the bottom edge of my mom’s kimono. My sister wanted it and mom said no, intending to give it to me. I said give it to sis since she has children and I don’t, something remaining from Okinawa that could be handed down over time — although how she will choose between three children, I don’t know. Hopefully to whichever one has the greatest sense of history and would keep it to pass onto their children, refusing to sell it the first time cash was needed.
The same problem my mom had in having to choose. Being fair doesn’t work unless you want to cut the kimono in half in a Solomon’s judgement. However, for me, there is another way. Simple really. I scanned the whole kimono. So I still have the virtual fabric, able to look at it when I choose. I have a black and white photo of my mom in that kimono and I photoshopped the actual scan atop the photographed photo. A bit more tricky than I expected as my scan was flat and in the photo, the kimono is worn, flowing over curves and folds.
It’s not the same as holding the silk but I am much taller and larger than my mom so I couldn’t wear it as a kimono anyways. I could wear it hanging open in front like a robe but it’s too beautiful for that. Although honestly my brother’s daughter is the only one small enough to be able to wear it properly as a kimono but he never asked. Traditionally a kimono is handed down mother to daughter.
My mom treasured it for more than 50 years, having had it before she met my dad. I have an oil painting of her wearing the kimono in her twenties. When I view the scans of the fabric, that’s what I remember — my mom looking so beautiful in her kimono. Strange to have that memory so clear — it was before I was born.
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