Have you ever seen kimono like this?
This is one of the semi-formal kimono types called houmon-gi.
The pattern looks like one picture on a canvas.
You can see whole picture by sewing temporarily.
What is houmon-gi ?
Houmon literally means visiting and gi means a dress.
Houmono-gi was devised as a visiting dress of kimono about 100 yeas ago.
It’s extremely useful as an outfit for ceremonies.
When do you wear houmon-gi ?
Generally you wear it on special days, such as children’s graduation and entrance, tea ceremonies and wedding receptions.
You can often see houmon-gi at seated parties.
When you are at table, people can only see your upper half body.
Even though you wear the highest grade kimono, such as kuro-tomesode or iro-tomesode which don’t have any pattern on the shoulder, you just look wearing iromuji. It has no pattern and was dyed one color.
It’s too simple.
When you wear houmon-gi, you should show off your eba-picture!
Why do you call it a walking picture?
Houmono-gi has a picture called eba-moyou dyed by moyou-shi or a kimono artist. The kimono is regarded as a canvas in this case.
The picture consists of patterns dyed on the left shoulder, sleeves and lower body.
This technique is unique to Japan.
The composition includes blanks.
The picture on kimono and traditional Japanese paintings have something in common.
Have you ever seen any Japanese paintings, especially traditional ones?
There are some blanks. Probably you know the blanks do have meanings.
So, when you wear it, you’ll be a walking picture yourself.
Houmon-gi in a chest of drawers
“Do you have houmono-gi ?
“I have some in my chest of drawers or my parents’ home. But I haven’t worn it.”
Women in their 50’s often answer my question like this.
Also they say “I rarely have an opportunity to wear it.“
So did I, but now I have more opportunities as a kimono instructor.
If you are party-people, you often wear it.
Houmon-gi was one of the bride’s items which a woman brings with her when she marries. Kimono was one of the trousseaus.
I hope opportunities to wear increase.