Green and blue gradient awase bachi eri kimono of the tsukesage type depicting hand-painted gold foil details of kiku, botan and také. Along the pattern, small white dots resembling snowflakes were dyed. It has an orange gradient at the hems and contrasting yellow collar.
Dress Length: 153 cm | 60.2"
Sleeve Length: 34 cm | 13.4"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 69 cm | 27.2"
Handmande in Japan
Exterior 100% satin silk
Lining 100% synthetic silk
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).
Tsukesage is used by single or married women at very relaxed events, it is even less formal than the houmongi. This kimono features pattern at the bottom and usually on one sleeve at the back and the other at the front, but the pattern does not continue over or join 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.
Botan (peony), which blooms in late Spring, has been justly called the "king of flowers". It is believed to have been firs introduced to Japan from China during the Nara period (710-94). Later, in the Heian period (794-1185), it was cultivated at temples throughout the country, grown at first for its medicinal properties and later for its beauty. In the late Muromachi period (1334-1537), the peony started making an appearance in paintings and sculpture. But it was not until the Edo period (1615-1868) that peonies became all the rage and numerous ornamental varieties were grown. This period also saw the cultivation of a winter blooming variety whose roots and blossoms are protected under canopies of straw. Love of the peonies continues to endure and it has remained a favorite kimono motif up to this day, symbolizing wealth, nobility and ageless beauty.
Také (bamboo) is one of the Shou Chiku Bai (Three Friends of Winter), which comprises matsu (pine), také and ume (plum blossom) and is traditionally used as a ranking system in Japan. Matsu is considered of the first rank, také of the second and ume of the third. Since ancient times, these three plants have been symbols of longevity, friendship, strength and integrity. Over time they have become common subjects in Chinese and Japanese painting, calligraphy and textiles, becoming an expression of celebration and joy, especially in the New Year season. Because of its sturdy root structure and its simplicity, také is particularly a symbol of prosperity, purity and innocence.