Brides Around the World – Part 1 Japan
Do you long for a bit of the Far East? Are you in love with simplicity, serenity, and stately elegance? The traditional dress of the Japanese bride might be for you.
Most of us know that the traditional women’s dress of Japan is called the “kimono.” And, though they aren’t as commonly worn as they used to be, one of the places you’re still sure to see kimono is at a Japanese wedding. Though the modern bride will often wear more than three outfits throughout her wedding day, the traditional wedding kimono, called an uchikake, is almost certain to be one of the ensembles worn..
The uchikake is a robe-like dress that used to be the common dress of women in the samurai (warrior) class. Uchikake have long rounded sleeves that swing elegantly off of the arm, and a longer hemline than most other kimono styles. The hem is also padded, which helps the uchikake to form a train behind the wearer. It is worn open, like a long coat, over a pale under-kimono (called kakeshita). In ancient times, there would have actually been five or more under-kimono beneath the uchikake. Today, some uchikake mimic this style with thin strips of fabric trimming the edges.
In the traditional religion of Japan, Shinto, white is a symbol of purity. Because of this, the uchikake is most often white, as is the kakeshita, or under-kimono, and it’s obi, or sash. The hair is also wrapped in a traditional white headpiece, known as the tsunokakushi..
But tucked into this tsunokakushi (wedding headpiece) is by far my favorite part of the traditional Japanese wedding ensemble–the kanzashi.
Kanzashi are traditional Japanese hair ornaments. They, like kimono, come in a wide variety of styles. The wedding kanzashi are usually a golden-yellow color, and very ornate. Originally made of tortoise-shell or metal, today they are most often created from molded plastic. The detail is stunning and often includes symbolic elements such as cranes, pine branches, and turtles, all symbolic of longevity.
Western brides might consider a less formal tsumami (“folded fabric”) kanzashi to accent their hair, or a monochromatic silk brocade for their gown. Perhaps an up-do with a traditional Japanese flair might compliment an ornate western dress. Or an actual kimono–either white or brightly colored–might be to the bride’s fancy. The Japanese bride is stately and graceful, and provides much to inspire her western sisters. Kitty Kanzashi designs and creates some of the most amazing Kanzashi flowers on the market.
This post brought to you by Michelle Greenwood of Greenwood Occasions.
Isn’t her work stunning??? I see a wonderful tradition starting 🙂
Posted on July 6, 2011, in Accessories, etsy, etsy bride, fascinators, Flowers, hair accessories, hair styles, hairpiece, head piece, japanese wedding, kanzashi, origami, Traditions, Uncategorized, wedding accessories, wedding dresses. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.