OBON is a Japanese Budhist custom, honoring the spirits of loved one's who have past. It is celebrated in Japan during the summer months of July or August (depending on which prefecture) and usually lasts 3 days.
It is believed at this time, the spirits of ancestor's will return to homes lit with a welcoming light, and will leave again on the third day. Families gather, homes are cleaned, and alters are adorned with delicious snacks, fruit, and flowers.
Obon takes place in the hottest months of Summer, and the traditional kimono is created in a light cotton textile, called a yukata.
The waist is wrapped in a stiff, sash type belt called a obi, and the back is tide into a beautiful bow.
Shoes are a sandal type clog, called geta, and the bag is a traditional basket based, drawstring, called kinchaku.
The hair is adorned with beautiful handmade hair accessories called, kanzashi.
Kanzashi are usually floral in design, and often worn corresponding to the appropriate season.
When I wear a yukata, it is a reminder in the power of clothing on one's composure, thoughts, and demeanor. The clothes demand certain character traits to emerge. For example, walking in a yukata requires you to shorten your steps, and angle your feet inwards. If you do not walk this way, the yukata will open, and unravel. The obi belt is restricting on the abdomen and puts a pressure around the waist that finds me less open in my movement. In general, I find myself behaving much more demure, and introverted. However, in the restriction creates a great deal of mystery mixed with beauty that finds me intrigued by the power of the things we wear.