（Left）Director, Motoji Keita（Right）Founder, Motoji Koumei
"When my sister got married, I wore my Iro-Montsuki, When I ascended as the CEO of the company, I wore my Kuro-Montsuki" Keita Motoji
Kuro-Montsuki and Iro-Montsuki are the two most formal kimono a man can wear. Both the Kimono, and the Haori have five mon, or five family crests. Two on the chest, one on the center back, and one on the back of each sleeve. Other than color, they are identical. Kuro is Japanese for Black, and Iro is for Colour. The black Kuro-Montsuki, is more formal than the colored Iro-Montsuki. In Japanese, this outfit worn for formal occasions is often called Montsuki-Hakama, as they are also worn with Hakama.
You were pretty nervous when you were addressed the customers at your ascension event while wearing your Kuro-Montsuki right?
When I got up on the stage, I could feel the eyes of everyone on me. I was nervous, but felt confident and proud, partly thanks to my kimono.
I had the honor of greeting attendees at my inauguration event held in October 2022, wearing a black formal kimono tailored specifically for this occasion with Platinum Boy silk.
I’m right in saying this was your first time having a kuro montsuki made right?
Yes it was, and I had it made in Platinum Boy too. What about yourself? What age were you when you got your first kuro-montsuki?
I had my first kuro-montsuki made when I was about 25 years old. This was well before I started Ginza Motoji. At this time I was studying kimono and kimono dressing at a kimono school, and we had a fashion show. As I was one of few male students, I of course ended up being the groom in the fashion show. Rather than borrowing a kimono, I decided to take the plunge and have my first kuro-montsuki made.
I had it made with a type of fabric called koku-mochi, which is a bolt dyed black with white circles left out to have the crests drawn in after.
How did it feel to wear such a formal kimono for the first time?
It was really fantastic. It felt like a big step into adulthood. In actual fact, I wore that Kuro-Montsuki to my own wedding only a few years later.
Unfortunately, I never made an appearance at my seijinshiki (Japanese coming of age day), so this fashion show was my first chance to wear such a formal kimono.
In 2007, when Platinum Boy was finally release, I felt it was only fitting to have my second kuro-montsuki made. I sent the white fabric away to be dyed black, and have my crest hand painted on. When the dyed bolt came back from the dyers, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. It was completely different to any kuro-montsuki I had seen before. The black was so beautiful rich and shiny, and the white in the crests glistened beautifully.
I once again really felt the importance of such quality fabric.
The black formal kimono, kuro-montsuki, tailored for Koumei Motoji of Platinum Boy silk. The Sendai-Hira hakama were meticulously hand woven by the Living National Treasure, Koda Yoshio.
Platinum Boy is one of few domestically produced high quality silks, and is exclusively produced and available at Ginza Motoji. Tracing the entire process from cocoon to completion, it was developed by Dr. Akio Onuma in 2007 after 37 years of research, making it the world's first development of such silk.
「Many young men choose to have colored montsuki for their coming-of-age ceremonies or as celebration for getting their first job.」
Kimono wearing parents are often excited to have a formal kimono made for their children as they grow up. Dressing up together marks a special occasion, and helps forge special memories. These days, people wearing iro-montsuki are on the rise.
When venturing into society, it becomes essential to seize every encounter as an opportunity, and having a kimono ready for any special occasions becomes crucial. By selecting a color that suits your preferences and complements you on the outside as well as on the inside. You can express your own aesthetic sense and personality, even in formal occasions.
Keita Motoi wearing dark purple Iro-Montsuki for a family wedding.
We have been fortunate enough to be featured in various magazines and have had the honor of dressing numerous renowned athletes and actors in both formal and casual kimono. Olympic medalists, singers, and actors who appear in magazine spreads wearing our kimonos bring forth a sense of inner strength, intelligence, and a different allure that is distinct from their usual personas. Female fans are captivated by the charm of this contrast, and their admiration only grows stronger as a result.
A Platinum Boy Montsuki instills confidence when it's time to make a statement or face challenges head-on.
My Iro and Kuro-montsuki are both made with platinum boy Habutae fabric. Formal kimono are often made of, or habutae. Habutae silk is woven with unwoven black formal kimonos tailored with Platinum Boy fabric. The high quialtiy silk is so luxurious it feels like it was created specially for these occasions. Adding a twist to the thread increases its strength, and having a pattern in the fabric enhances the woven expression. However, habutae, which is woven straight without any twist, relies directly on the quality of the silk thread for its beauty and supple texture. Just like how carefully prepared ingredients can be incredibly delicious with just a sprinkle of salt, the same can be said for Platinum Boy formal kimonos.
Smooth and lustrous, the habutae white fabric of Platinum Boy is beautiful even before dyeing.
Iro-montsuki can be dyed almost any color, though we have a sample of our 10 suggested colors.
Indeed, that's absolutely true. When Platinum Boy fabric is dyed in a solid color, you can feel a sparkle emanating from within the threads. The dyeing artisans also mentioned that the colors take well, and even when dyeing the same color, there is a vibrant and deep richness to it. The suppleness of the threads creates a beautiful drape, and even if wrinkles form, there is a sensation that the threads naturally return to their straight state. The quality of the fabric undoubtedly contributes to a sense of confidence when wearing it.
Wearing the black formal kimono, I felt a surge of confidence and power as I put my arms through the sleeves during the inauguration commemorative exhibition. Wearing a black formal kimono signifies significant milestones in one's life. Alongside this kimono, as the owner of Ginza Motoji, I aspire to continuously refine myself and grow.
Indeed, the power of attire exceeds our expectations. What we wear during the most shining moments of our lives should undoubtedly be adorned with Platinum Boy fabric. I hope that many people can experience and appreciate the difference it brings.
Photos : Teraoka Miyuki