and blue or red might have been easier

anonymous asked:

Hello! The Shisnengumi haori's official colour is blue right? But in some cases they were in white & black. And if I remember correctly I did saw a white & red ver. from an tv drama I believe I can't really remember. So which is it? I hope my question came out right ><

It’s the color that has been given to it basically. We know from eye witness accounts that the haori existed but no one can agree on the color. 

Many believe they were blue to stand out from the typical browns, blacks, greens, and other dark colors worn by men at the time, but we don’t have any real proof that the haori were the blue color that they’re famous for today. This is why you will see variations in the haori in media portrayals. Though the blue/white and white/black combos are most prevalent. 

The white/red you might have seen might have been to mimic the banner of sincerity that was a symbol of the Shinsengumi since examples of it do exist and were white with red detailing. Like this sodesho on display at the Hijikata Museum which was a marker the men wore on their sleeves to indicate that they were part of the Shinsengumi:

As for the white/navy combination that was debuted for Hakuouki Shinkai, in Kyoto Winds Kondou explains that they used the white/navy haori at night so that they’re easier to spot in dark places (since you have to remember electricity wasn’t a thing in Japan at that time). The last thing you want to do is be in a dark narrow space and accidentally kill your comrade. 

Going back to history though, the other issue is that they didn’t wear the haori for very long. Basically they wore them when they were first named the Shinsengumi up until around the Ikeda Inn incident or just before and then stopped and we don’t have a surviving example to verify their colors. All we can be sure of is the dandara or mountain pattern that was around their sleeves. 

Maybe one day a real example might be found but given the fact that the Shinsengumi were on the losing side and much of the pro-shogunate forces and any remaining signs of them were destroyed after the Boushin War it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever be sure. 

Basically though, if anyone tries to tell  you that the haori can only be the blue and white–they don’t know their history ;)