Kasaneirome, Color layers
In Kyoto, Feburuary is the month of plum flowers. Ever since the old days, plum flowers has been regarded as auspicious and preferred as Kimono (着物) patterns, especially for New Years.
Today, Ohanami (お花見, flower viewing) automatically means cherry blossom viewing, but in the Heian (平安) era, it meant plum flower viewing. I cannot help dreaming of the graceful world of Heian noble ladies dressed in beautiful Juni-hitoe (十二単, twelve layered kimono) enjoying sweet scent of pale pink plum flowers.
Regarding Juni-hitoe, we have a beautiful term "Kasaneirome (襲色目)”, meaning the color combination of layers of Juni-hitoe. Heian nobles enjoyed to express their fashion sense in accordance with basic rules such as seasonal colors. There were no certain criteria of "right or wrong" but various favorable combinations existed for each season.
For example, a Kasaneirome called "Tsubomi-ume (つぼみ梅, plum flower bud)" consists of Koubai-iro (紅梅色, purple pink) and Suoh-iro (蘇芳色, dark purplish red) was preferred in spring,
Plum flower tells us the arrival of spring with its scent and color. It definitely has a charm different from cherry blossoms.
Please click here to see a Blog by a Former Maiko, "Do You Know?"