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.
In Japan “furisode” 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 can get some help from kimono dressers and hair stylists to wear “frisode”,
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.
Also they attend their own graduation ceremonies, wearing “frisode and hakama”.
The red one with middle length sleeves around 100 cm is called “chu-furisode”. It is worn on special occasions. The green one with shorter length sleeves around 76 cm is called “ko-furisode” or “nishaku sode”. It is worn on the day of graduation with “hakama”.
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”
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.
Kimono having long sleeves was begun to wear by fashion icons, such as kabuki actors, oiran girls and geisha performers.
(We don’t know the real reason but this is the most truthful 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.
They attracted single men. So many of them 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 happened in Edo. The girl fell in love with the boy but she died of illness without telling him of her love. Unfortunately, she could not wear a kimono with the same pattern 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 to the sky with a gust of wind. It was a time when the dry wind blown and towns were 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. Many people were sacrificed.
All girls at any generations love “furisode“.
*There’s no relation to this photo with the “furisode kaji” story.
訪日外国人に「What is furisode? （振袖って何？）」聞かれたらどのように答えますか？ 着付けを体験しに来る方の中にはまれに詳しい方もいらっしゃいますが、 ほとんどの方は知りません。 ではどのように説明したら[…]