Re: Indigo Blue
I'm starting to miss my old hakamas all over again .... they were so worn out one day when I was visiting NY Yamada Sensei said "Hakama wo naose!" After Japan, he corrected me in Japanese a couple of times so the others wouldn't know what he was talking about. The problem was I had fixed them so many times it just wasn't possible. Then I got tied up with other things, life does that sometimes and here I am so spoiled I only want one of those hakamas again, the indigo ones from Iwata....
The picture is so charming, even in black and white, or sepia and white the softness of the fabric shows up and the expressions on the faces are so charming and lively, some, however, very serene. And so nice to know hakama wearing was widespread even among children. I was surprised to see gaily colored flowered sleeves and hakama worn by the modern graduating seniors in your blog, sorry I forgot the title!
And in the Tale of Genji, the chapter title Blue Trousers must refer to the young Murasaki growing up (the character, not the author) and getting her first hakama. I have the book here and am going to read it again as I did years ago.....
Thanks again Niall, this confirms my identity as, not a Japanese-American, or an American-Japanese, but an American partially educated in Japan and by Japanese friends, and by people from the USA and other countries who live or have lived in Japan. As Aikido spreads here (and elsewhere) it's nice to know that others, too, are learning about Japan's people, land, and culture.