Blue awase hiro eri kimono of the houmongi type with gold thread hand embroidery and golden hand painted details. Many flowers are portrayed in its pattern, such as kiku, ume and sakura, complemented with the geometric Budhist influenced motifs shippou and sayagata. The sleeves are long, characteristic of kimono from pre WWll. It also has a pale coral gradient that runs through the bottom and sleeves’ hems.
Dress Length: 151 cm | 59.4"
Sleeve Length: 32 cm | 12.6"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 61 cm | 24"
Handmande in Japan
Exterior 100% silk crêpe
Lining taffeta and silk crêpe
Awase is a lined kimono, exclusively worn between October and May (from Autumn to Spring in Japan). In hiro eri, the collar is wide and its inside is not sewn to the body. When put on, the lapel can be folded in two to feature the widht desired and fall naturally toward the erisaki (the bottom of the collar). It is used in many women’s kimonos.
Houmongi means “visiting dress” and, in Japanese tradition, could be used both by unmarried or married women at more relaxed moments. It is a semi formal kimono (less formal than tomesode but more formal than tsukesage or komon), whose pattern flows around the hem and the sleeve and sometimes up over the body of the kimono, joining up at the seams.
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.
Ume is the plum blossom. Because plum trees bloom in winter, there is a saying that "the plum is the first among flowers". Prior to the Nara period (710-94), the word "flower" generally indicated the plum blossom, and in the Man'yoshu, an eight-century anthology of Japanese poetry, there are more verses about plum blossoms than cherry blossoms. A cherry tree now stands to the left of the Hall for State Ceremonies at the Imperal Palace, but originally a plum tree stood there and remained until after the Heian period (794-1185). In the Legend of the Flying Plum Tree, the cherry tree withers and dies after its master, Sugawara, leaves, but the plum and pine trees fly through the sky to be with him. However, the pine tree loses strength and falls to the earth in Settsu Province. Only the plum tree miraculously continues its flight and in a single day and night arrives at Daizaifu where its master resides and where it takes root. Ume is commonly associated with luck, nobility, purity, devotion and protection against evil.
Although sakura (cherry blossom) has long been a much-loved motif in Japan, patterns featuring the flower were not popular until more recent times mainly because the cherry blossom season is so short and thus the wearing of kimono bearing the cherry blossom motif was also short. As a flamboyant decoration on costumes for traditional Japanese dance and kabuki teather, however, there is no design more effective, but these costumes are worn for a specific purpose. The general public have generally preferred extremely small sakura patterns, such as little stenciled motifs. When surveying the comparatively small number of sakura designs, one can see some that feature only single blossoms, while in others branches are laden with blossoms, as in the case of a weeping cherry tree. Sakura may be used in combination with other motifs, such as flowing water as in the sakuragawa (cherry blossom river) design, and atop a raft in the hana-ikada (froral raft) design. Designs capturing a distant view of sakura were common. The scenery of a sakura covered Mt. Yoshino shrouded in mist was incorporated into patterns used on semi-formal attire and other garments. A symbol of Spring, it is now commonly used throughout the year. Cherry blossoms are a symbol of Japan and of beginnings, as they bloom at the start of the school year.
Shippou refers to the seven treasures of Buddhism: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, agate, seashell, amber and coral. All of these are found in the Asian continent and were considered precious and rare products. The pattern represents these beautiful seven treasures in an infinite repetition and is considered a lucky charm.
Sayagata is the pattern of interlocking manji, an ancient Buddhist symbol that has been used across many cultures for thousands of years. The symbol came to Japan in the 16th century and is known to represent life and strength.