Ooki Picture

I've been trying to make a picture catalogue of my kimono collection for insurance and organization needs, and I thought I might put it up here for everyone's amusement (and in case my other copies of it get lost).

This is a late Meiji period furisode, or a long sleeved kimono for unmarried women from the 1900s-10s. It has a design of paulownias, chrysanthemums, and phoenixes. In Chinese mythology, the phoenix only roosts in paulownia trees, so it is quite common to see these two motifs together. Paulownias are primarily a spring motif, so the chrysanthemums, which are autumnal, could have been added to round the kimono out seasonally (making what is a rather formal and thus expensive kimono more wearable), or it could have been added as a subtle tribute the Imperial House of Japan and the Japanese national government, whose symbols are respectfully the chrysanthemum and the paulownia.

For a name I chose Ooki, combining the kanji for rare and mythical bird. This is a rather simple furisode design, so I wanted to give it a simple sounding name. I chose the kanji for rare because I doubt I'll get my hands on a furisode like this in the same way ever again. This beauty was just chilling in the back of a thrift shop in the small town I lived in during my stay in Japan. The people selling it knew it was old, but they didn't know how old or cared. So this kimono was sold to me for the measly price of 3000 yen, or roughly $30. I don't think I can buy anything in America that's nearly a century old for only $30. I don't think I can buy that much silk at a fabric shop for so little...

EDIT- I exchanged the original photo for more detailed ones.
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