Blue hitoe hiro eri kimono of the yukata type with kiku and karakusa patterns dyed in the katazome technique.
Dress Length: 154 cm | 60.6"
Sleeve Length: 33 cm | 13"
Shoulder to Shoulder: 65 cm | 25.6"
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 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.
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.
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.
Katazome, mainly used to create repeat patterns on fabric, gained popularity in Japan as a simple way to mimic the look of woven brocades. It is a Japanese originated method of dyeing textiles with a resistant rice paste applied through a paper stencil (katagami), and the country is credited with developing this dyeing technique to a level of unparalleled sophistication.