Weddings are laced with traditions and meanings. Many times, those traditions are displayed via the medium of fashion. Whether that’s and elegant bridal veil or the slightly more ‘hidden’ bridal garter. Japanese weddings are no different and are just as rich in tradition as their western counterparts.
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase `Japanese wedding clothing’ is, of course a kimono. The gorgeous patterns and splendid dyes have made this outfit popular around the world. Not just Japan.
1. Does The Color of A Kimono Mean Anything in Japan?
There are what are called the "three primary colors" for a Japanese wedding kimono: white, black and red.
White can be seen on shiromuku (all white wedding kimono) and black in some hikizuri (trailing kimono) and red is a truly supreme color when used with "color-uchikake" (non-white overcoat wedding kimono). Note that by "red", this means only a true vermilion. This red is a classic and traditional Japanese color.
It is a lively color with several meanings: strong magic, protection from disaster, and exorcism of bad luck or bad spirits.
It goes on to say that due to use from noble houses, red also has the feeling of being a rich, splendid color.
However, when it comes to choosing wedding kimono, you're not limited strictly to red, black, or white. For example, purple gives the feeling of nobility and high class, green suggests harmony, and pink gives a feeling of happiness.
2. What Color Is The Best for Japanese Wedding Kimono?
The quintessential color for Japanese wedding kimono is undoubtedly red, deeply rooted in cultural symbolism. Red is revered as an auspicious and joyous hue, embodying happiness, good fortune, and prosperity. The prominence of red in wedding attire reflects the significance of the occasion and the couple's wish for a prosperous life together.
Complementing the bold red, white is another prevalent color woven into the fabric of Japanese wedding traditions. White symbolizes purity, innocence, and the commencement of a new chapter in the couple's lives. This symbolic use of colors is not arbitrary; it reflects the cultural values and beliefs embedded in Japanese matrimonial customs.
Traditional Japanese wedding kimono often feature intricate patterns and embroidery that seamlessly blend red and white elements. This meticulous craftsmanship not only adds aesthetic beauty but also carries profound cultural meaning. The incorporation of gold and silver accents further enhances the overall elegance and richness of the attire, symbolizing wealth and a promising future.
While red remains the primary color choice, variations and adaptations in modern times may introduce other subtle hues. However, the enduring symbolism of red and white prevails, showcasing the harmonious blend of tradition and cultural significance in Japanese wedding ceremonies. In the realm of Japanese weddings, the choice of kimono colors is a poignant expression of cultural heritage, invoking blessings and prosperity for the newlyweds.
3. Why Is There A Pillow Behind Kimono?
The interesting thing is that there is sometimes a pillow behind a kimono. The pillow placed behind a kimono, particularly when it is displayed or worn, serves both a practical and symbolic purpose. From a practical standpoint, the pillow helps maintain the shape and form of the kimono. Traditional Japanese kimonos are crafted from delicate fabrics and intricate designs, and they can easily lose their shape or wrinkle. Placing a pillow behind the kimono provides support, ensuring that the garment retains its intended silhouette and appearance.
Symbolically, the pillow represents a cultural reverence for craftsmanship and attention to detail. Japanese culture places great importance on aesthetics, precision, and the artistry involved in creating and presenting items. The carefully arranged pillow not only preserves the beauty of the kimono but also reflects the meticulous care taken in showcasing this traditional attire.
In addition, the pillow serves as a display of respect for the garment itself. Kimonos hold cultural and historical significance, often being heirlooms passed down through generations. Placing a pillow behind a kimono when not in use is a gesture of care and acknowledgment of the kimono's value, contributing to the preservation of cultural heritage.
In summary, the pillow behind a kimono serves as both a practical support to maintain its shape and a symbolic expression of respect for the craftsmanship and cultural significance of this traditional Japanese garment.