Blue, black and white hitoe bachi eri kimono of the komon type with karakusa and kanze-mizu pattern.
Dress Length: 148 cm | 58.3"
Sleeve Length: 34 cm | 13.4"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 69 cm | 27.2"
Handmande in Japan
A kimono without liner is called hitoe, which means "single cloth". It is exclusively worn from June to September, the Summer season 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.
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.
Karakusa (arabesque) is an ornamental pattern consisting of interwined flowing lines inspired by stalks and tendrils and by the links between the leaves and vines of plants. Originated in the western Asia region, it spread throughout the world. A grape and arabesque motif can often be seen in the art of Persia during the Sassanid dynasty (300-700). In China, the pattern appeared in the Han Dynasty (206-220), but its use for adorning clothing became widespread only with the arrival of buddhism in China after the third century. Karakusa became a central motif for clothing decoration during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The pattern is thought to have entered Japan in the fifth century via the Silk Road from China. Combined with botanical motifs such as hollyhocks, chrysanthemums and peonies, there is no limit to the number of karakusa patterns that can be created. It is a symbol for eternity and sometimes a symbol for a family's legacy, like a family tree in the Western culture.
Water is expressed in diferente ways on summer kimono. There are many types of design, including the S-shaped curves of the ryusui-mizu flowing water crest and the whorls of the kanze-mizu design. Tha fact that water lends itself to repeating patterns may explai why it features so heavily in stencil designs woven fabrics, among other textiles. Combined with the colored leaves of fall, flowing water forms a pattern known as tatsutagawa river.