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Heian Kitsune


Last Updated: 05-20-2009

This is an original design...we were doing a Spirited Away group, but I wasn't too fond of any of the designs from the movie, so I decided to create something that MIGHT have been at the bathhouse...after all there were all sorts of spirits there, so why not a fox spirit? ^_^ In Japanese folklore, fox spirits often appear as women in lovely robes, so that's what I went for. The mask was based off a picture in the Spirited Away artbook, and I designed the robes to be Heian-era style .

I bought 25 yards of white silk and then dyed the uchigi (robes) myself. The colour scheme (researched from Liza Dalby's "Kimono" book) is a favoured one in Heian times , "shades of scarlet-pink" (the first layer, or hitoe, is supposed to be blue-green with this scheme), and I found the gorgeous golden fabric at Designer Fabrics and couldn't resist using it for the ko-uchigi ('little robe' or jacket). Then came days and days and DAYS of sewing. It bothered me that I didn't have time to hand-hem the robes, as it looks much nicer than topstitching, but there turned out to be no workmanship judging so it wasn't a big deal (except for my pride...hehe). The hakama is cotton twill and the kosode (white first layer) is plain white cotton, chosen for comfort.

For the mask I sculpted the shape out of Plasticene, then carefully covered it in strips of papier-maché, then lots and lots of gesso and sanding. The ears are insulation foam covered in papier-maché and gesso.

I would really like to remake this ensemble at some point as the silk I got is way too soft and flowy for proper Heian. The amount of hemming involved is rather daunting, though, even if I put in fake layers.


Best Staging, Master division - Anime North 2004

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Character Heian Kitsune
Series Original
Costume Views 2497
Favorites 4
Comments 1
Upload Date 09-19-2005
Debuted Anime North 2004

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