Happy New Year also on my blog!
Thanks so much for reading in the past year and here is to hoping you are having an awesome 2018 – hopefully in kimono!
My start in the year was rather unspectacular as I got pretty sick on new years eve and just spent it watching TV with my Japanese family (and killing a bottle of Sangria by myself.. to kill the germs of course haha)
After the new year rang we went out to the nearest shrine and temple to pray for the new year. As I’m Christian I am praying to my own god but I like to go to Japanese shrines anyway.
After midnight people already line up at there to do “Hatsumode” (初詣) the new years prayers to wish a successful new year. It is a strong tradition so naturally the first 3 days of the new year there are endlessly long lines at all shrines in the city.
I went a few days earlier to take pictures because I needed them for my column (I write once per month for Mainichi Weekly Newspaper) – and I am glad I did because I mainly spent my new years recovering from the cold.
I barely wear formal kimono or have the chance to do so but it felt good to dress up in a fancy and traditional kimono for a change.
Another Japanese tradition are “Nengajo” (年賀状) which are new years greeting cards. That’s some serious business as most people feel obliged to send them and so most people spend days printing out their own design cards and writing dozens of addresses for days before new years. Also if you get such a card and you didn’t send that person one – the basic rule is that you have to send a belated card back as a thank you.
To be honest with you, I hate these nengajo as I don’t like the pressure to have to send something so I don’t participate haha. I think many young people don’t care much these days.
After all this talk let me show you a fun way to do a new years card!!
Photographer Irwin Wong whom I worked with on previous shoots (e.g. the Dirndl vs. Kimono shoot) is doing some super creative cards each year with family and fellow creators.
For this year he asked me if I can do kimono styling for him and his wife like in the movies “Ghost in the shell” or “Blade runner”. I was super excited to get such a creative and different job opportunity!
His wife got the Geisha Robot makeover – and to be honest it was quite a task to build the collar like in the movie and get other details right. My husband helped me build the prop for hours into the night.
The shoot itself was amazing as there were so many creatives in the room and Irwin had thought of many cool details.
Japan has a yearly cycle of animals (like a zodiac sign) and 2018 is the year of the dog. Irwin always includes the yearly animal in his shoots, so this year we worked with the cutest puppy!! Everyone looked really cool.
Long story short, here are the results from this epic shoot:
How do you like them?
For the whole story and previous “Nengajo” check out Irwin’s blog:
Let’s hope its going to be an epic dog year!