ebay yukata dilemma

Never mind me, I'm just complaining again... about doll stuff.

She also needs a better photographer
This is Aya. Aya needs a yukata that doesn't end by her knees, like this one from Daiso does. Well, perhaps not needs, but we both agree she would look good in one. Aya is one of my favorite Jenny friends, and one version of her that I think is particularly beautiful is the one that comes dressed in a kimono by designer Yumi Katsura. She's way out of my price range, of course, but it made me think it would be fun to have some traditional Japanese clothes for my Aya - sort of replicating the look on a budget. Because I'm not made of money, and my dolls don't sit safely in their boxes or behind glass doors, what I've been looking for is a simple, cheap yukata or kimono that will fit 27cm Obitsus.

Now I happen to have a bit of money over this month, so I checked ebay and there seems to be two options within my price range: a red Jenny kimono released in November and the purple Jenny yukata from this summer.

 (stock photos - the print on the red isn't that bad in the finished product)

The kimono comes with the traditional shoes and socks, which is great because I don't have any. The yukata is slightly cheaper and actually the one I like the most, mainly because the color matches Aya's makeup and the floral print is cute (is that peonies?)  -but it didn't say whether shoes are included. As I don't want poor Aya to go barefoot, I asked the seller, and they told me shoes are not included. BUT. Then I checked TakaraTomy's site, and unless Google Translate is messing things up even more than usual, the yukata is indeed supposed to come with shoes! (or sandals, which I guess is a better English term for zori). User reviews on Amazon.co.jp seem to confirm this too, although I wouldn't bet on it since, well, Google Translate.

So - now what? Do I ask the seller why there are no shoes, when according to the manufacturer there's supposed to be? To be honest that seems like a bad idea. Do I hope they were just being super picky with the terminology ("Oh, you meant zori sandals? I thought you said shoes haha"), or that the sandals were hidden inside the packaging and they didn't see them or something...? Or do I just accept the fact that they probably removed the shoes to sell them separately? After all, breaking up fashion packs seems to be pretty common practice on the second hand doll market.

For example, I've noticed the Daiso fashion packs sold on ebay are usually shoeless. Initially I assumed it was because the shoes apparently fit older Licca dolls and so are in higher demand, but then I bought three intact packs from FoundIinJapan and basically threw the shoes away immediately, since they're were so sticky and smelly I knew right away I would never use them. So I don't know.

So I'm sort of annoyed that if I actually buy the yukata I probably won't get what I'm supposedly paying for. Then again, I'm not sure exactly how annoyed I should be, because fact is that the zori and tabi that come with these sets don't actually look very good on a doll that doesn't have toes! For me it does ruin the apperance a bit when a Jenny doll has a big elaborate kimono in a beautiful fabric - and then her zori sandals stick out a centimeter in front of her feet... Of course, that's always the problem with sandals and playline dolls - my Triad Omega guy has separate big toes, but he can't exactly share shoes with Barbie. So if the set comes with zori it's possible I would end up not using them anyway - and then what am I complaining about??

This wouldn't look good even if they were her size

The best option for shoes would probably be these Obitsu zori that come with soft plastic tabi socks - normally I avoid awkward plastic versions of fabric objects - like bunny slippers or knitted hats - for my dolls, but in this case the pros outweigh the cons. But of course they cost a lot, and first I'd need to find someone who sells them. Plus they come in three colors and none of them the traditional plain black and red, so matching options would be more limited. And the sandals would still look weird without the socks - but apparently nobody wears tabi socks with a yukata, so I'd be stuck with weird-looking footwear either way...

So I'm not quite sure what to do yet. Maybe I'll just wait a month and see which one sells out and then buy the other one? And then wait another six months for the planets to align with my economy and the ebay sellers' stock for a chance to buy a matching pair of Obitsu shoes.

...sometimes I think half the fun of this hobby is in complaining about ridiculous details. :D


  1. I think the yukata is a lot prettier. This is what I'd do: buy the yukata and make the socks and shoes. The socks aren't difficult, I think you've already sewn some. Take the shoe measurements with the socks on. Use several layers of cardboard for the sole and cut a V shape also from cardboard, but glue it to the sole only at the sides, to mimic the thong look for a doll without toes. You can pinch the sock at the toes to enhance this effect. Then you sand any bumps on the sole and paint it. It will look great, cost less and fit better than anything you may find for sale.

  2. Oh, I like the Yukata best also! My daughter was in Japan last summer on a school trip and the host family she stayed with gave her a Yukata as a gift. It is so beautiful! She also got the sandals (zori?) and they gave her a beautiful hair piece too. So, I would definitely go for the Yukata and as BlackKitty says, make the sandals, if you can!

  3. I agree about buying the yukata. Then you may, or may not, find that you have the sandals as well. If you haven't then you can make them as BlackKitty suggests - I'm sure you would be able to, or maybe you could buy a pair of the Obitsu ones and paint them

  4. I like both, but the yukata has my preference. A great idea from BlackKitty, to make the shoes.

  5. Thanks for your comments - it seems everyone is firmly in favor of the yukata? I think you've managed to sway me.
    BlackKitty, thanks for the tips on how to make the sandals. I'd prefer to have the shoes that's supposed to come with the set, but it's good to know I have other options.

  6. Mattel's Barbie Princess of Japan had a pair of zori sandals that were slides with the upper part curved as if there were a separation of the big toe from the other toes. If you cannot find a pair of Barbie zori sandals (don't know where mine are - small pieces, etc.). maybe you could reshape the tops of another pair of slide sandals?

    1. Thanks for the tip. As of now I'm holding out for a seller that will include the sandals with the set, but I'll keep an eye out for the Barbie zori.