Shishuu obi ( embroidered obi )
Embroidery can be traced back to embroidered Buddha images made during the Asuka and Nara periods. During the Momoyama and Edo period, embroidery became established as a way to make elaborate costumes for Noh and Kabuki performances. Various techniques are used to embroider tomesode, houmongi, “some” obi and fukuro obi with elegant patterns of plants and nature.
“Shishuu obi ( embroidered obi ) ( 刺繍帯 )” の続きを読む
A fabric woven from silk threads. The silk floss is spun using fingertips, and the resulting threads are dyed and woven into a simple yet distinctive fabric. Tsumugi kimonos are usually seen as casual wear, but they can also be worn as fashionable street wear. A ebamoyou (single patterned) houmongi made from tsumugi can be used in informal occasions such as parties.
“Tsumugi ( 紬 )” の続きを読む
This is the formal kimono for married women.
“Kuro tomesode” refers to a black tomesode with a patterned skirt and five family crests. The light, undyed crests must be placed at five points – one at the back, two on the outer sleeves and two at the front shoulders. The same rule applies for both modern and traditional designs.
“Kuro tomesode ( 黒留袖 )” の続きを読む
This is a black kimono worn for mourning family members. The formal mourning kimono is completely black and has five light undyed crests. It is usually made of chirimen (crepe), habutae (silk) or koma chirimen. A mofuku is typically tied with a Nagoya obi with mourning prints. A taiko musubi is tied instead of a nijuudaiko musubi (double layer taiko) to avoid “doubling” the mourning.
“Kuro mofuku ( 黒喪服 )” の続きを読む
The houmongi is ranked just below the furisode and the tomesode in formality, so it can be worn by both married and unmarried women as a formal kimono.
From the end of the Taisho period to the beginning of the Showa period, the houmongi was often worn to formal occasions, and it became an alternative to formal Western clothing.
“Houmongi ( 訪問着 )” の続きを読む
This is a formal kimono that can be worn by both married and unmarried women.
An iro tomesode with five family crests is considered as formal as a kuro tomesode, but can only be worn to formal events. Those with three or one crests are considered less formal, and can be worn to receptions and parties. Although the kuro tomesode is traditionally considered the more formal kimono, the iro tomesode is worn at events in the imperial palace, where black is traditionally avoided. An iro tomesode without any crests is considered equal to a homongi. in other countries, a crested iro tomesode is often worn by Japanese women as formal evening wear.
“Iro tomesode ( 色留袖 )” の続きを読む
The iromuji is a crested single-colored kimono. With five light, undyed crests, it is considered a formal kimono. With three crests, it will be considered more formal than a tsukesage or a houmongi without crests, but there are not many occasions where it will be appropriate for. With one crest, it will be considered a semi-formal kimono, and can be worn to various events such as a friend’s or colleague’s wedding ceremony or a child’s school enrolment or graduation ceremony. A crested muji is usually worn to tea ceremony or ikebana lessons. It can also be worn with a hakama to a graduation ceremony. Embroidered crests can be applied without changing the formality.
“Iromuji ( 色無地 )” の続きを読む
Condolence callers started to wear the mofuku after the war. As the kuro mofuku is reserved for family members, kimonos are not often worn by non-family members. This is in deference to the mourning family members. Mourning outfits in terms of formality are – a kuro mofuku with a black mourning obi, an iro mofuku with a black mourning obi, an iro mofuku with a colored mourning obi.
“Iro mofuku ( 色喪服 )” の続きを読む
The tomesode is the most formal kimono for married women. It refers to the kimonos made by cutting and shortening the sleeves of a furisode, typically after marriage. The kanji for “tome” means “to stay”, which is said to refer to a married women staying with her husband’s family. From the late Edo period, the tomesode with its shortened sleeves became the standard wear for married women.
“Tomesode ( 留袖 )” の続きを読む
This refers to kimonos with subtle stencil-dyed patterns made from tiny dots.
There are 3 distinctive patterns of Edo Komon – Same-komon, Kakutoshi and Gyogi. Same-komon is a sharkskin-like semicircular pattern. Smaller dots make finer patterns, and from a distance, the kimono looks like an iromuji. For Kakutoshi, vertical and horizontal patterns cross each other at right angles while for Gyogi, the lines of dots are crossed obliquely. There are 4 types of craving techniques to make the stencils for these patterns – Tsukibori, Kiribori, Dogubori and Shimahori.
“Edo Komon ( 江戸小紋 )” の続きを読む