I was so surprised that I won this! I've tried to obtain a paper crane-themed item for the longest time, and this just happened to be my favorite design. Wonderfully, I can pretty much wear it with any kimono I like!
I really don't know how it started, actually....I found a lifelong mentor in a teacher at my school who happened to teach Japanese. And so began 4 years of study with the language and culture. When I went to Japan as an exchange student 5 years ago I enjoyed the relative freedom of public transportation there, the pleasant citizens, and overall fish-out-of-water adventure. My host family got me my first yukata there- light purple with sakura. I loved it the minute I got it, it's still with me to this day.
I only started getting deeply interested in the fashion aspect of kimono by buying a second yukata to wear to Ohanami last year. So why kimono? Well, honestly, I think I like the process of putting them on, and selecting harmonious colors...there are so many rules and specifications that need to be right, that I like perfecting my techniques to clear my head. I'm in a creative field where there aren't any rules, and the mere stress of al the choices actually makes the kitsuke rules a refreshing hobby!