「2019年度 足袋コレ」Tabi Collection 2019


How are you doing? The summer still seemed to have stretched out in Japan, my hometown in Germany however seemed to have entered Autumn moods. Now it is October! Can you believe it? Time flies so fast.


On the 22nd of September 2019, the Tabi Collection (called “tabicolle 2019”) took place at the Edo Tokyo Festival in Ueno, Tokyo. In case you feel overwhelmed: “Tabi” are traditional Japanese kimono socks and shoes with the characteristic split toe.
Tabi Collection is a competition for short listed candidates from all over Japan to win the prize as “Tabinist/a” who is the coolest Tabi wearer with a fresh fashionable/creative styling as well as with the passion for Tabi.


Edo Tokyo Festival
Waiting with Sheila Cliffe for our show time. シーラさんと本番待ち。

Chatting with my sensei (teacher) Mrs. Sheila Cliffe, the kimono expert who also joined.

Criteria and History

The criteria for winning are 1) total fashion coordination, 2) if inspires the new possibility of Tabi for fashion and use, and 3) the passion for Tabi.

This was the 5th TabiColle. The previous ones all took place in Gyoda City, northern Saitama prefecture. Why? (many may not know this though…) it is because the city is the hub of Tabi production. As a record, in 1938 Gyoda city produced about 80% of all Tabi in Japan. It has the ancient remains and also the Japan aerospace museum (as a former airplane mechanic, this seems quite interesting!).
There are several famous movie and TV drama based on Gyoda. One is called “Rikuo (The king of the land)” which is about a Tabi manufacturer based in Gyoda city.


今回が5回目で、これまでは埼玉県北部の行田市にて開催されております。なぜ、行田市かといいますと、実は、行田市は、足袋の本場なのです。1938年には日本の生産量の約8割に相当します(出典: Wikipedia)。埼玉古墳群や(飛行機製造関連の仕事していたので個人的にすごく気になる!)日本航空館がありますよ。

Komatsu-san introducing the TabiColle. 小松さんと行田市のマスコット。




Jika-tabi shoes. 地下足袋ラブ

The day of..

Being aware of the TabiColle since the first round, I had never participated it because I am too shy and basically never won anything in my life for this type of competition. My husband saw the news about TabiColle2019 and encouraged me to apply, so I did.

At the venue, there were many interesting food/drink stalls and kimono related shops. I was already too nervous to have good look at each shop.


In front of the stage, there were many audiences and 6 judges. One of the judge was from my home country Germany who won the Tabinista at TabiColle Germany!

All participants looked amazing. So many different tastes in styles and creativity to wear tabi with kimono or western clothing!

My number was 11. Before going on the stage (as well as on it), I was so excited and scared with my heart beating so fast as if I just ran a marathon. It is surprising that other candidates looked quite confident and calm on the stage!! I was on the verge of going home and abort mission… hahah (I may look confident but the truth is I am absolutely terrified to stand or talk in front of people.)


The judges debating…

My style was inspired by my beloved idol Marlene Dietrich who is from Germany as I am. She created her own style in a conservative era around the 1930s which is such as inspiration to me. Wearing a tuxedo she inspired me to play around with a kimono. Dressed over a shirt (actually my husbands from our wedding) and with a cummerbund instead of obi I felt really dressy! The red velvet Tabi, which represent the time when Marlene was in cinema well, rounded up my outfit.


To my biggest surprise, I was selected as this the Tabinista for 2019!!


When my being awarded with the prize, my head was empty with the nervousness, shock and happiness! I did not know what to say when asked about how I felt..

I will do my best as Tabinista for one year. It is a great prize to me and I feel so honored.



The Japanese relatives from my husband say they often wear Tabi. One aunt says she used to make Tabi from Obishin (inside part of Obi) herself when she was little.
One cousin who is a farmer in Japan uses Tabi shoes (called Jika tabi) a lot because it gives him extra grip to the ground when he works outside.

When visiting Japanese gardens, I see almost all gardeners wear Tabi.

Tabi has the infinite possibility and everyone in this world should at least try once. I am sure they will love Tabi!!



足袋コレ実行委員会の皆様、審査員の方々、一緒に参加した方々、応募写真を撮ってくれたVan Sadayoshiさん、さとさん。。、そして、勇気をくれた(!)マレーネ・ディートリヒに感謝です。

Special thanks to the TabiColle organisers, judges, TabiColle participants, photographer of my outfit Van Sadayoshi and Marlene Dietrich who gave me the inspiration and courage!!


xoxo Anji

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