The last time we visited my mom, she sent us out to run some errands for her, because it really was too hot and muggy for her to last more than 10 minutes outside. This really wasn’t my reward for doing that, but she gave me a yukata that used to belong to my deceased father. “It’s really long, so it might not fit you, but if you want it, it’s yours,” she said.
I wore one of my dad’s old yukatas in a grade school production of The Mikado. I was a Geisha. The way my mom dressed me up, tied up my hair, and stuck a couple of wooden knitting needles in it must have looked fine to anyone who wasn’t Japanese. That old yukata is long gone.
This one has probably never been worn in 50 years, so the cotton fabric is still really stiff. It’s obviously a men’s version, though, given the sleeve length. Still, the hem barely comes down to the top of my ankles, so there’s no possible way I could trip over it. I tie the sash the way I want to, though, not by some prescribed ritual.
I am not engaging in any cultural appropriation. If my dad’s Japanese business contacts thought that would bother them, they never would have gifted it to him.
This could use a run through the washer to soften up, but otherwise, it’s fantastic! It makes for a great summer robe, or pool cover-up. I freakin’ love it! Besides, it’s a lovely reminder of dad.