Mikazuki Munechika - Touken Ranbu

Made In: 2017
Status: active


The prettiest sword-grandpa of them all! While Mikazuki isn't my number one Best Sword Boy, I do love this weird old man, and I'm a sucker for a gorgeous outfit.



This is really only visible on the concept/reference art - on the in-game sprites, it only shows as the innermost white collar at his neckline. Important, though, because this is what actually covers your arms and sides! His is pretty much the same as historical versions, or a slight varation on a modern kimono - narrower body, no front tuck, ends about knee-length I'm using a white cotton sateen because I had a bunch already, and I'm a sweaty person so I need an under-layer that's machine washable.


The white layer that's mostly visible, right under the blue one. It's pretty close to Heian hitoe, with two exceptions, both in the sleeve area - one is that the sleeves look to be all one piece, instead of made up of two pieces (which is more an artifact of traditional Japanese fabric widths than anything), and then the sleeves are open on the bottom and wrist edge, as well as the body edge. So I'm going to take the traditional hitoe pattern, cut the sleeves as one block, and then line them because the edges are super-visible when they're open like that and I have enough hemming as it is. I think I'm going to buy some white polyester chirimen (chirimen is a type of tight crepe weave that is easily the most common fabric used for kimono). Normally I'd buy a bolt of vintage kimono silk from Ichiroya - you can get them for ~$50 plus shipping, and they're 15m or so - but 1) a lot of the whites tend to have discolored with age and 2) they're traditional width, which is about 15" and thus too narrow for me to do the sleeves in one piece for. Thankfully Tomato has 44" polyester chirimen for ~$14/m on their Rakuten store.


The only part of this that isn't mostly-Heian in style. Hakama were part of Heian ensembles, but they had fewer pleats than modern styles, and were waaaay longer so they could be gathered up at the ankles and have a nice poof. The pleat arrangement and length on Mikazuki's place them pretty solidly in 'modern' (19th century to present) style. Round Earth's hakama pattern is my go-to for that, though I may leav off the backboard (which is solidly a 20th century martial arts addition). I'm airbrushing the gradient on a heavy matte polyester satin, which, uh, is an adventure. And probably a whole post to itself at some point.


The giant blue monstrosity. Like the hitoe, this mostly only differs from the traditional cut in having single-piece sleeves that are open all the way around. I'm lining the whole thing because there are a lot of visible edges/insides, and I have the feeling the fabric I'm using is going to be fray-tastic. It's a royal blue brocade with the sayagata pattern woven in - it's a little bigger, with slightly thicker lines than the patterning on Mikazuki's kariginu, but honestly, it's probably as close as you're going to get without actually weaving your own (don't do that, please). Okuyama sells it online, though I was lucky enough that a friend was willing to pick some up in person for me when she was in Tokyo last month, which saved me a bunch on shipping.