Due to the hype, I refused to watch the film "Memoirs of a Geisha" when it came out in 2005. Whenever EVERYONE has to go see or read something, it makes me run a mile in the opposite direction, so I am often a little behind on certain things. Fear that it would not live up to the book played a part too, though I admit it's a little high-minded to expect the visual to be an exact rendition of the written. Well, I swallowed my pride and rented it out on DVD and was immediately enraptured by the lush photography, the costumery, the music. The "Making of" the kimonos in the special features held particular interest for me, of course, and I have been browsing the net for vintage photos ever since.
Why was Mother so enfuriated by the ruined kimono? Even today, a woman's kimono can easily exceed 10.000 dollars, and twice the amount including undergarments, obi, socks, sandals and accessories. Second-hand kimonos, for which there is now a thriving business in Japan, can cost as little as 500 Yen (about $ 5.-)! See, it pays to wear the pre-worn whevever you are!