Premonitory Kimono

A lifetime ago when I had a freshly-printed degree and was learning the ropes in the automotive industry, I had a wonderful opportunity. At an ordinary staff meeting, my boss asked for a volunteer to participate in analyzing some new designs–at Toyota, Isuzu and Suzuki. In Japan. No one spoke up and I looked around wondering what the heck was going on. Initially, I didn’t think I should say anything, since I had the least seniority of anyone in my department. But after dead silence around the table, I couldn’t resist. I spoke up and tried hard to keep it professional and not yell “Hell, YEAH! I’ll go to Japan!!”


And so I was selected to work with the group of engineers responsible for coordinating the cross-industry car lines. I was also immediately chastised by my senior engineers who told me that what I was supposed to do was keep my mouth shut and wait for management to select someone to go. Sour grapes. I figured it was their own fault for not speaking up. The scale might have been tipped my way due to the fact that I was actively studying Japanese at the time, but no one seemed to care about that too much.

Being in Japan with designers was a real treat. Many of my colleagues had already spent a great deal of time there and knew exactly how to optimize their free time. Most of them hated Japanese food, so we didn’t get to eat as much as I would have liked, but they knew where to shop!

Antique Child’s Kimono

One of my souvenirs was a gorgeous antique children’s kimono. I loved how colorful it was compared to most of the more subdued tones in the adult silks. The purple and green and fuschia and blue just screamed out to me.

Antique Child’s Kimono

It’s been kept tucked away for 17 years now, but has finally found a home on my living room wall. It’s amazing how the colors match my own paint selections. I hadn’t even looked at it for well over five years. There are a couple of other antique silks I bought in my travels which will also soon be on display.


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