Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.737


Ladies and Gentlemen! We have a big announcement today. We're going to hold the exhibition 'HAORI'S HIDDEN HAURA' from March 22 to 25 in NYC. There's a message quoted from the exhibition's brochure.

"What secrets hide beneath men's clothing? Haori, Japan's traditional jackets, contain private messages. Concealed within them are pictorial linings, Haura, with surprising themes that reflect the whims and fantasies of their owners. These linings may reference yearning for a beautiful landscape, protection by a chosen god or favorite animal, a pleasant pastime, an historic event, the desire for a special woman. All will be expose in this unique exhibition as these jackets will be presented inside out to reveal rare glimpses of private worlds and closely-held secrets."

Curators Yuka and Ichiro have carefully assembled over 30 enigmatic Haori especially for this exhibition. Of course, they're leaving for NYC! If you have any plans to go to NYC, you must visit this exhibition!


Here are another Men's Haori which were not selected that exhibition, but they're no less unique than those!



















Hi! This is Nagisa writing again. I'm looking forward to the Haura's exhibition, too. (I'll stay in Japan, though...) Anyway, speaking of Haori, Men's formal black Haori usually has Kamon(family crest). Kamon is a culture unique to Japan, and almost all Japanese have the Kamon which has been handed down from their family lines. Today's theme is the history of Kamon. Are you ready for time traveling?

The origin of Kamon goes for back to Heian Period(794-1185). Heian noble started using simple marks on their ox cart in order to find their own cart. It was originally a mark for indicating ox cart's owner. These marks were gradually began using not only ox cart, but also clothes, tools and so on. This is the origin of Kamon. In the latter Heian Period, there appeared Bushi/ Samurai, and they expanded their power more and more since then. They also needed Kamon mainly to tell the difference between friends and foes, so they used Kamon on their flag or camp curtain at the battlefield. Kamon was designed simply to distinguish from far, and these Kamons also have owner's belief or origin of their ancestors. The design of Kamon became diversified with the times. In Muromachi Period(1336-1573), Kimono with Kamon was already worn as formal Kimono by Samurai. Some generals of the Warring States Period(1467-1568) have plural Kamons, and they had used these Kamons depending on the situations. Before the Edo Period(1603-1867), Kamon had established as the symbol mark of Samurai. Then, I'd like to introduce you some Kamons which have unique meaning or origin.


< Mokko >

This is the 'Oda Mokko' which is different from popular Mokko-mon. In general, it has four petalled flower. Nobunaga Oda is one of the Samurais who has many Kamons. (It says that he had 7 Kamons.) Especially, he loved this special Mokko Kamon which has five petalled flower. According to a rumor... 'This is the bloodstain remained on the tray by cut-off enemy's head.' Nobunaga joked with a laugh about this Kamon. Oh, terrible...


< Sakura >


'Sakura'(cherry blossom) has been loved by Japanese from ancient times. However, it was unpopular with Samurais. Because, they believed that Sakura is unlucky flower due to the state in which they're falling. So that, there's not many Sakura motif Kamon.


< Rokumonsen >


This Kamon is designed in the motif of 6 copper coins. It's well known Kamon used by Yukimura Sanada. There are some opinions why Yukimura used this Kamon. For example... It was believed that this price 'Rokumon' is ferriage of the River Styx. Using this Kamon on the flag at battlefield, he indicated the readiness to die, and encouraged his own troop. On the other hand, it was a tip with irony for enemies. That is, it was his message, 'Go to hell'. I like latter one, haha


< Hikiryo >


It came into its presence due to the simple design at the battlefield. Besides, it's designed in the image of dragon... How creative they are!



< Kokumochi >


Today, this is just a white circle to dye out own Kamon. However, it was popular Kamon among Samurais in the past. Kanbei Kuroda is one of them. There was also black circle, too. What does it look like? Here is an interesting episode about the origin of it. Once upon a time, Hanbei Takenaka was shot with an arrow in the chest, but he has a mirror-shaped rice cake in his bosom, and the rice cake saved his life! So, he decided to adopt the rice cake design as Kamon. Dramatic!

Did you enjoy today's topic about Kamon? There are more and more Kamons with unique, funny and mysterious episodes other than those. Please pay attention the small Kamon on the nape from now on! How about find your favorite one?