It's time to open the kimono, says a financial investor to a young company. Full disclosure! Time to see the books! in other words; and this corporate lingo is now making its way into mainstream talk.
Some say it's brazenly sexist, though kimonos have always been worn by men and women, so I find that debatable.
Others claim the expression originated in feudal Japan referring to the practice of proving that no weapons were hidden within the folds of the clothing. I like that. A visual pat down.
What I remember from Kyoto antique markets are the many layers and astonishments concealed by a kimono. When I fell for a richly embroidered tiger leaping on the back of a kimono and another with a rugged mountain washed in moonlight, I learned that these would never have been seen by others, but turned inward, nestled against the wearer's back, while a quiet elegant fabric faced the world. Likewise, the red silk Nugajuban I brought home (a kimono-like undergarment) is never revealed. It's a ferocious, heart-stopping red! But only the wearer knows the forces within.
Opening the kimono. I want to see this as a brave (and intimate) choice to show the brilliant colors and mysterious inner workings of our person, once the daggers are down. What mysteries we hold. Tigers and moons and mountains, oh my!
However you wear your kimono, cloaked and belted, or unlatched and flapping in the breeze, just remember what secrets it conceals. Save some of the best stuff for your eyes only. Imagine walking through your day with a tiger at your back and your soul painted unflinching red. And no one knows but you . . .
To the best in all of us ~
Susan Hull Walker