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IMAYO (Color Trend in Heian Era)

On TV shows, the color trend of the year is often introduced. In the old days back in the Heian (平安) era, our ancestors had the color trends too.
In Japan, we have one particular color whose name is Imayo (今様), meaning the ”latest trend”. The history proves that the Emperor Go-Shirakawa (後白河天皇) loved the color, and it was widely used for Kimono (着物), or layer collars of Jyuni Hitoe (十二単衣, twelve layered Kimono). At that time, even there was a magazine about Imayo color.

As you see in the picture below, Imayo is a color of slightly light vermilion red. In the Tale of Genji (源氏物語, a famous Japanese novel in the Heian period), there is a description of Prince Hikaru Genji (光源氏, the principal of the story) choosing Imayo color Kimono for his wife Aoinoue (葵の上).

Today, Navy, the trend color of 2017 autumn/winter, attracts a lot of fashionable people’s attention. In the future, Navy can be defined as Imayo color in the late Heisei (平成) era.

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