Oct 182010
 

The Japanese kimono can be used as a comfortable, much more fashionable alternative to the bathrobe. Dating back to the fifth century AD, both Japanese men and women have been wearing kimonos since a similar style of dress was important from Han-era China.

In Japan, the kimono was always far more than something comfortable to wear around the house. western-style clothing didn’t make it to Japan until the early 20th century. In 1923, Japan’s emperor issued an edict requiring almost all public officials to change their style of dress from kimonos to western-style uniforms. Until that time, the kimono was one of the basic items of clothing for both women and men.

The east-west interchange of clothing styles goes both ways. Since the early 20th century, westerners have collected kimonos as souvenirs or as elegant, unique ways to dress. Although traditional kimonos remain expensive and elegant in the west, some people like to use the kimono as a loose-fitting housecoat to relax around the home.

Japanese-Americans still keep kimonos on-hand for special occasions. During the traditional Coming of Age Day, for example, a kimono is still a common item, as it is for weddings. A kimono jacket can be found for under $100; truly elegant silk kimonos can exceed $500.

Oct 092010
 

towel cats

I always knew towels had their place in the home, bath-time wouldn’t be the same without them! but little did I realize how much my bath towels would mean to my cats until I relocated to California.

I had contracted with an international pet courier to transport my precious cats from Africa to Los Angeles, and they had mentioned that it would be a good idea to put some small personal item in the cat-carriers along with the cats to remind the kitties of home and to calm them down during the trip.

At first, I was at a loss as to what to put in the carriers but then I had an idea: I would put the cats’ favorite hand towels in with them. I had often seen how much my cats enjoyed lounging around on the gorgeously soft and luxurious bath towels and bath mats I had populated my bathroom with, and I knew these would be the perfect reminders of home to keep them company during their long journey.

Quality organic bath towels and hand towels – no matter whether they were made of Egyptian cotton, combed Egyptian cotton or the luxury cotton / bamboo rayon mix¬† have always been favorites of mine, and I’d bought enough of them over the years to keep my cats and I in towels for a good long time. (I had also bought enough matching Terry velour, Supima and Kimono bathrobes to populate a small country, but that’s another story!) It was therefore no problem at all to choose a towel or two to put in the carriers with each kitty duo – cats travel overseas in pairs – and I was happy to see that they snuggled down into the towels’ soft and silky material as soon as they were put into the carriers.

Three days – and many thousands of miles – later, the cats and their towels arrived in Los Angeles. Their flight to sunny California had treated them well, and they had luxuriated in their eco friendly towels all the way across the Atlantic.