Black awase bashi eri kimono of the komon type with pink marbled effect, depicting a kikko pattern with kiku flowers inside. The sleeves are long, which is characteristic of kimono from pre WWll.
Dress Length: 143 cm | 56.3"
Sleeve Length: 32 cm | 12.6"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 65 cm | 25.6"
Handmande in Japan
Exterior 100% cotton
Lining 100% cotton
Awase is a lined kimono, exclusively worn between October and May (from Autumn to Spring in Japan). In bachi eri, the collar is folded and sewn down to the body, extending naturally towards the erisaki (the bottom of the collar). It is called bachi eri because its shape is like bachi, the stick used to play the samisen (a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument derived from the Chinese instrument sanxian).
Komon is an informal kimono whose pattern repeats throughout the piece and often incorporates vertical stripes. Originally used as casual clothing, it is nowadays very rare since, with the westernization of clothing in Japan and the disuse of kimonos as a day-to-day wear, tailors have virtually ceased to produce it.
Kikko means "tortoise shell." Originally, this hexagonal geometric design came from Western Asia. In Asian cultures, the tortoise represents longevity and in Japan this animal is said to live for ten thousand years. Thus, the kikko pattern symbolizes longevity. Additional designs can be found inside the hexagons, such as lucky motifs, flowers or family crests (kamon).
Hanakotoba is the Japanese form of the language of flowers. The Japanese have a long tradition of associating meanings to flowers, and they have influenced numerous aspects of their culture from kimono to war. Flowers such as the sakura (cherry blossom) and kiku (chrysanthemum) are national symbols of Japan. Such flowers have the power to invoke powerful emotions and they are engaged in the people's thinking. Beyond these national symbols, others have more subtle meanings. In Japan, they are a traditional gift for both men and women, and are often used to convey what can't be spoken. Even nowadays, flower meanings make occasional appearances in modern popular culture such as manga and anime.
Kiku (chrysanthemum) represents longevity and rejuvenation. When first introduced in Japan during the Nara Period (ad 710–784), the Japanese royal family was fascinated with the flower. Eventually, during the passing of the years, the chrysanthemum became the imperial family emblem. Even now, it is used as the imperial symbol of Japan and figures on the Japanese passport. No plant is used in such a multitude of patterns as the chrysanthemum. Patterns showing this flower are called kikukamon; designs depicting chrysanthemum attached to stems are known as oriedakiku and flowers standing upright are called tatekikumon. A design in which chrysanthemums are rendered along with flowing water is called kikusui; teamed with a fence, the design is called kikumagaki. There is also much variation in terms of the flowers themselves, from the type whose petals are long and dishevelled, known as rangiku, to the round, extremely abstract kind which appear in works by the artist Kourin Ogata and are called kouringiku. The leaves of the chrysanthemums are on ovoid shape with jagged edges and appear in patterns in the form of rippled lines. The Chrysanthemum Festival, or Choyo or Kikuno-Sekku, is celebrated on the ninth month in the lunar calendar. It is an old Chinese custom that made its way to Japan and was adopted mainly at court. On that day, activities included drinking saké with chrysanthemum petals floating in it and wearing cotton that has been placed on top of the flowers overnight to soak up their dew. Drinking chrysanthemum saké was believed to ward off malevolence and ensure a long life.