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That’s “furisode”

Would you like to be “hime” or a princess?

If you want to be, let’s put on “furisode“!

What is “furisode“?

Furisode” is the most formal kimono for unmarried women.

It has long sleeves swinging gently and its patterns are gorgeous. It is just like a picture.

It is mostly worn on Coming-of-age day by around the 20-aged women.

Ceremonies to celebrate becoming adults are held in January through out the nation.

Those women are given some help to wear “furisode” by kimono dressers and hair stylists,

and they attend the ceremonies that one of the rites of passage.

Other than the ceremonies they wear “furisode” to attend their relatives and friends’ weddings

and their own graduation ceremonies with “hakama“.

furisode girl

*Actually, married 20-aged women can wear it when attending the ceremony of Coming-of-age day.

Furisode” has another face as a costume.

Female “enka” singers and “kabuki” actors perform in “furisode” as their stage costumes.

Popular patterns for “furisode

patterns for furisode

Peony (botan):The king of flowers, noble, happiness

crane (tsuru):longevity, be a good couple

“Temari” ball:Settled everything, driving away evils

Pain, bamboo, Japanese plum tree (sho-chiku-bai):Evergreens=permanence, JPT overwinters=patience

Blue waves (seikaiha):Peaceful life like calm waves

Rings of snowflakes (yukiwa):Good harvest=melt and flow into fields

Butterfly (chocho):Immortal symbol=its dramatic transformation

Iris(shobu):Charms against evils=a leaf like a sharp sword

Woven-bamboo patterns (kagome):Charms against evils=patters like Yin Yang(positive and negative)

Why does “furisode” have long sleeves?

In the middle of Edo period (17C~early 18C), people’s culture was flourishing other than samurai.

Kimono having long sleeves was begun to wear by being active those days fashion icons,

such as kabuki actors, oiran girls and geisha performers.

We don’t know the real reason. 

However those beautiful sleeves were deserved to appeal girls’ desire that they wanted to get a good partner.

The sleeves were so beautiful when waving and moving.

Many of the single men used to put a love letter into girls’ long sleeves they like.

An old sad story of “furisode”

Furisode has many stories in old times.

Most of them are sad love stories.

This time I’ll tell you an old one “Furisode Kaji”.

The story was in Edo city. A girl fell in love with a boy. However, she died of sickness without being able to achieve her love. Unfortunately she couldn’t wear the furisode which had the same patterns as his kimono.

the furisode was passed into another girl. The girl and also the next girl died the same way. As a result of that, the priest burned the furisode at a temple to appease dead girls’ spirits. Suddenly, it soared in heaven with a gust of wind.  It was a time when the breeze blown and dried. The fire moved to the main building of the temple in the blink of an eye, and spread further to the town of Edo. · · · But later The town of Edo was reconstructed stronger than before against fires.

Anyway, “furisode” impacts all girls at any generations.

furidoe-clad woman in a temple yard

*There’s no relation to this photo with the “furisode kaji” story.

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