Black and blue hitoe bachi eri kimono of the yukata type with kiku flowers disposed inside a hishi pattern.
Dress Length: 145 cm | 57.1"
Sleeve Length: 32 cm | 12.6"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 62 cm | 24.4"
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).
Yukata is an unlined kimono, originally based off of hot springs bathrobes, which has become very popular at summer festivals. Nowadays a young Japanese person may not wear kimonos very often and may only hire them for special occasions, but might well have one or more yukatas for summer wear, as they are usually hand washable, much more casual, easier to wear and easier to maintain.
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.
Hishi is a geometric pattern based on rhombus. It is believed that this shape was created spontaneously in prehistoric Japan, and several variations were developed in the Heian era as a pattern for Japanese textiles. There are many variations, however the most interesting are yotsuwaribishi or waribishi (quartered diamond), the pattern with flowers instead of diamond shapes, called hanabishi mon'you, very common between Heian and Kamakura Period; and saiwaibishi, the combination of geometrical and floral pattern.