Tina Tamashirou’s bright geometric furisode design uses camellias (a winter flower) with botan peonies (an early spring flower) and a couple of bold ume or sakura (also early spring), which marks this kimono as intended for January or February-ish.
Wait, Coming of Age Ceremony is always held on the second Monday of January!
Indeed, this kind of furisode, with its super bright colors, joyously playful patterns and youthful makeup is intended for Coming of Age Ceremony wear (when girls turn 20 years old and become adults).
I lve the use of the bright fluorescent fuchsia with the odd magenta purple in the obi, the lime green with the emerald green, and sky blue tying it all together. The use of a bright crayon-green eri collar is a bold move, since the other two greens are a teal and that lime green. It’s a totally different color temperature but it bounces between the creamy color and the sky blue like a slash of jewel tone and somehow it all works. What a great coordination.
I’m in the middle of reading Winter and I’m at a very stressful part of the book (like I’m trying not to scream right now!) so I took a little break and drew Kai, Cinder, and Peony.
Things used to be so simple 😭
Tōshō-gū in Ueno Park has a beautiful peony garden that is open to the public twice a year: early January to early February for winter peonies, and mid-April to mid-May for summer peonies.
There are about 40 varieties of winter peony in the garden, but it’s so difficult to cultivate the flowers in winter that less than 20% blooms, according to the garden’s website. The winter flowers are not as spectacular as their summer cousins, but I go every winter to marvel that such fragile flowers can bloom in such icy cold weather. This year I went after a light snowfall, and patches of snow/ice were still visible in shadowy spots.
Peonies are called botan in Japanese. It’s usually written in kana as ぼたん or ボタン, sometimes in kanji as 牡丹. The flower was brought to Japan from China in the Nara period (710 to 794). It was celebrated not only for its beauty, but also as a painkiller and anti-convulsive medicine.
This month I will see some of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. I will travel to places I’ve never been and see forests and mountains and cities that will take my breath away. But I know it’s the people I meet and the transformation I see in myself that is going to most move me.