Before I went up last summer I put out an apppeal for yukatas and jinbeis for Miyuki. http://earthquakepets.blogspot.com/2011/05/positivity.html A wonderful lady who helped Jackie and I around Higashi Matsushima shi in May. She and a friend set up a Smile campaign to gather festival clothes for the the summer gatherings in her small seaside town. The teenciest tiniest backwater in Japan can't call it self a village unless it has a festival during the hotter months. It is a wonderful season to be in Japan and you could most likely festival hop the length and breadth of the country. One beautiful imperative to these community events is the yukata. Usually a light unlined cotton version of a kimono. It is informal yet traditional and quintessential female attire for firework viewing.The male counterpart is the jimbei. Also made from light cotton but more somber in colouring. There are darker coloured Yukatas for men too but I have really only seen those at onsens and not at festivals.
The Principal bought two entire sets to donate.
So Miyuki asked me, a non-native, if I had any festival attire knocking about the place, I didn`t. However, there would be nothing to prevent me from putting the word out, which I did.Lucky for me the word was heard and the wonderful students I teach up in Kadena rallied around and pestered their peers, parents and part time job colleagues. They were able to round up 27 Yukatas and jinbeis. There were mulitple donations of essential accessories too. Zori/geta, (wooden sandals), obi (belts). I covered the shipping and with other donators contributions combined, I sent up 10kilos of traditional clothes.
I wanted to get a special one for Miyuki as she had been so kind to us before so when I volunteered in June I brought one up especially for her.Friends in Tokyo and Chiba rallied around and contributed to Miyuki`s drive and I realise that I never acknowledged all of these wonderful people here. So please forgive me for being remiss in my gratitude. Thank you for making these Higashi-Matsushima-ns Smile.