The kimono, bearer of chrysanthemum symbolism

Long live the floral kimono

The kimono really is the comeback kid in the 2016 fashion trends. Imported from Japan, you don’t need to be a geisha to wrap yourself in a kimono: the simplified version can easily be worn nice and loose with jeans and sneakers. But it’s still bursting with tradition, in which the chrysanthemum plays a subtle part.

Kimono with chrysanthemums - Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

The traditional Japanese kimono

The kimono has long ceased to be an everyday outfit in Japan and is now mainly a heritage item, but women still wear them for ceremonies and traditional events. For example, you wear a kimono for your graduation, when you get married and during the tea ceremony. 

Wearable symbolism

You’re thereby not just wearing the magnificence of a robe, but above all a profusion of symbolism. For example, the colour doesn’t need to be your favourite shade. Red represents happiness and protects children from evil, and is therefore a recurring theme in the fabrics used.

Hello chrysanthemum!

You also see chrysanthemums conspicuously often on traditional kimonos, and not just as a fun decoration. The chrysanthemum symbolises a long and happy life - something you would wish anyone wearing the garment. So if you’re still in two minds about buying the modern version, take a good look at the print. Chrysanthemum present? Check!

Buying a new kimono

We can imagine that you’ve got a yen for it now. OldShanghaiOnline.com sells a chrysanthemum-strewn 'kimono robe' in a long and short version. So you can feel a bit like a geisha - in sneakers.

Read more about kimonos
 

  • Annie van Assche, Stefano Ember, Fashioning the Kimono. Dress and modernity in early 20th century Japan, Milaan 2005
  • Liza Dalby, Kimono. Fashioning Culture, 2001
  • Jill Liddell, The story of the Kimono, New York 1989
  • Norio Yamanaka, The book of kimono, Tokyo 1982