Furisode Sleeves



Furisode Sleeves
O. Chu. Sho.  These are the choices they offer.  In small print it states, sleeve length varies.  I think I have had this conversation before.  Size Matters.  Now we add a new wrinkle:  Length varies.  Seems we might need a fitting service to derive total satisfaction, but then again not sure I am the one that really knows.  In fact what I am sure of is that I will have a difficult time staying on topic.  But will say this is not a blog about swingers or swinging sleeves.  O. Chu. Sho.  Reminds me to fill in the blanks, clarify the language or words I am using, and most of all not to get side-tracked by something that comes to mind, when I bring this subject up.  O means long.  Chu means middle.  Sho  means short.  And to say more, Furisode is a Japanese word.
Now I digress.  Hate it when I go into Starbucks and I say, “Would like to have a cup of coffee.”  And have to listen to a lesson about their way of ordering a cup of coffee.  Annoying when I have been alive as long as I have been.  Want to tell them, “Just bring it.  I will pay the current price for what I receive.”  But that is not good enough, and I find myself walking out the door, empty handed, looking for a place that will serve me a cup of coffee sans  all the marketing B.S. that Starbucks is famous for.  “Not in the mood.”  Is the message I send when I want a cup a coffee and the person in front of me wants to talk about Furisode Sleeves.
Size matters.  Length varies.  But until I get my coffee and sit down and relax and get my morning started, none of that other stuff really matters.  Comfort food or drink, and once consumed as part of my early morning routine, I can set my priorities and get on with it.  Going to Starbucks is not my first choice.  Dressing up in suit and tie, or in the case of Japanese Best Dressed considerations, not something I would do before I have my first cup of coffee.  I would not deal with Furisode Kimono, and can say with certainty, size doesn’t matter when it comes to sleeves and a proper fitting and display, when all you want is to start your day, with a fresh cup of steaming hot coffee.
Want this to be a short blog that was entertaining and written in a clear and concise way, and not a collection of Japanese stories that I have collected along the way from birth to where I am today.  Furisode Sleeves  and when I wrote this for the first time, I wanted to make this the title of todays blog, but with modifications.  Wanted to write.  Crying into Furisode Sleeves.  Then thought twice and changed my mind.  Crying in the Rain would be a better title and something an American might relate to.   
 But once we get into the idea of what to call a cup of coffee and naming rights and protocol, we realize that maybe he should have titled this blog:  Singing in the Rain.  Why?  Because the real purpose of this blog is to address the issue of difficulty in life.  Which leads me to another subject.  Getting a morning cup of coffee at Starbucks without a hassle and argument, about what you call it.  Differences and I opt to allow them, and just get on with it.
So he wants to discuss the issue of difficulty, and not talk about Starbucks.  Even Furisode Sleeves seems an illogical way to discuss the subject of difficulty.    But maybe this is one of those times and situations where you have to be there to appreciate any of this.  Size Matters.  Length Varies.  And he decides to bypass Starbucks and Furisode Sleeves to arrive at a better place to have a conversation about difficulty in life.  Hence,  Singing in the Rain.  Was a movie made in 1952.  Debbie Reynolds.  Gene Kelly.  Donald O'Connor.
And brings me to the proper starting place about difficulty in life.  Seems a silent film production company wants to change, and go from silent films to movies that also have the element of sound.  So in many ways, Singing in the Rain is about film technology.  And now I can relate.  Seems technology change brings difficulty to the older people among us that have been doing things oh so differently.  Contrast 1952 and 2017.  And now we can see why he is having difficulty.  Living in 2017 and thinking and talking about 1952 realities, and when in mixed company we begin to see and realize:  Difficult at Best.
The people raised in 2000 and beyond have grown up with this technology.  So is a good time to say, “WTF.”, when old dude talks about Furisode Sleeves, 1940’s silent films, and about meeting his friend in Japan for the very first time, and she was wearing a kimono and even at age 18, looked so dignified.  He doesn’t go into detail, but even so it is not a conversation a person of today is comfortable with.  Difficulty in Life and now we are experiencing it.  He goes to Starbucks and gets into an argument  about what to call a cup of coffee.  Somebody is screaming at him.  “Size Matters.  Learn the new way or leave.”  He leaves.  This is difficulty in life and in one’s daily routine.  So now he has made his point.

There are certain things you just can’t talk about in today’s society.  Meeting a friend in 1952 might be one of those things.  Japanese just lost a war.  And he wants to talk about it.  1952 and he wants to talk about it, when a silent film production company wants to make a movie that is like a Broadway Stage Play, and add sound and dance and music.  Hence, is a transition period between the old and new.  And he lived through it,, and knows to some degree what he is talking about.  But his audience is not interested.  Has no clue what he is talking about.  Difficulty in Life and he is demonstrating in a minor way, what that is all about.
So let’s reverse engineer this conversation.  Singing in the Rain and is historically documented.  1952 film, and it was difficult to teach the actors what to do, and make it visually appealing when it is something new, and are doing it for the first time.  Now we know, song and dance movies are not too popular in 2017, and will not pay for itself or make a profit, compared to other productions that Netflix might do.  So this brings us to reducing the whole production to just a song.
Crying in the Rain and is a song made way back when.   1960’s to the 1980’s and was sung by James Taylor and Art Garfunkel and Carole King, and even Bob Dylan.  Now we can see all these things on YouTube.com and its not so difficult to relate with.  Seems strange that there was a time when we didn’t have computers, and such a thing as movies with sound was brand new.  So now we take one more step backwards.  Crying into Furisode Sleeves.  Sounds a lot like crying in one’s beer, but to him, Stoney Blogger it is different.  How different.  Depends, and will leave it at that.   Now gone full circle.  Reverse engineering and am able to start at the beginning, when all of this was new.  Furisode Kimono and meeting a girl or young women, age 18, in a Japanese Jazz Club in 1952, and now all of this is starting to make sense, but not yet and not completely.
Turns out that all of this blog is inspired by a first impression.  And a lasting impression.  Would like to demonstrate that.   Stoney Blogger is young.  The year is 1950-something.  He is in Japan.  Meets a girl and falls in love.  But times are different then.  Cultural differences and is not proper to look at our young women that way.  “Fall in Love.  Want to Marry.  Are you kidding me?”  Out comes the sword.  Off with the head.
And even for a 2017 day audience, they have seen enough evening news and video to know what “off with the head.”, really means.  Not something we want to see.  Certainly not something we will talk about.  And so now what?  Change the subject.  Size Matters. Length Varies.  And maybe on a good day, this is something the girls might talk about.
As for Stoney Blogger, it all makes sense.  Took a trip to a remote island somewhere between Seattle and Alaska to meet a friend.  That friend is now 84 years old.  And he sees her and smiles.  “Not pretty now.”  She says.  And he replies, “You are wearing the same kimono with furisode sleeves that you wore when I first met you.  Very pretty.”  And of course, it is his way of changing the subject and making the point, “Happy to see you.  It has been  40 years since last we met.”
And she responds.  “Yes.  Not wearing kimono now, just Nordstrom running suit.”   And he laughs.  “Very pretty just the same.”  And they wander off,  to fetch a cup of coffee and have some time together. Talking about the old days, and how things have changed, and yes, they even discuss the difficulty in life they have experienced in life.  “We are friends.  We can talk.  Not like the young people today.  They have cell phone and smart screens.  They are busy.”  And they laugh.
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Comments (1)

  1. dincali

    i miss those days, when you could have a cup of coffee, and actually sit down with a friend and talk. i miss a lot of my friends, as well as convos & laughter. having a beer, and someone picking up a guitar. bon fires on the beach, drive-in theaters….and oh so very much more…looking into someones eyes, and knowing..just knowing.
    you figure that last one out yourself….

    July 09, 2017