I have a good friend named GirlGamerGaB. She’s a big fan of Japanese horror games and does Let’s Plays of them on her youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/GirlGamerGaB/ She specializes in playing horror games in Japanese (some that have yet to be released in English!) and translating them as she goes. She recently got some visitors from home and they all wanted to be dressed up in kimono. Of course, I was happy to help!
Displaying the kimono for the girls to choose from.
Choosing obijime and obiage.
GirlGamerGaB in a kurotomesode.
Having some fun with an antique wagasa.
This is a three-crested irotomesode.
Checking out the musubi in the back.
The only furisode of the day. I love this colour!
I had to do a quick review of the fukurasuzume musubi the night before!
All three girls enjoying their kimono experience!
We all had a great time choosing kimono and obi and getting dressed. I only wish that they weather had cooperated a bit more. It was raining all morning, but as soon as they had to get undressed and I had to go to work, the sun came out. Typical.
Don’t sweat the small stuff! But if you’re interested, check out my facebook, twitter, and instagram for the small, spur of the moment ideas, articles, and activities that I find and do related to kimono!
Name: Tsubaki (椿) Camellia
Seasonal Association: Spring
When To Wear It: December-March
The kanji for tsubaki combines the radicals for tree (木) and spring (春) which perfectly describe this motif. Tsubaki is a tree that can grow at high altitudes, and it is very common to see the red and white tsubaki blooms when there is still snow on the ground (yuki-tsubaki). Tsubaki is also commonly called the rose of winter.
Tsubaki was an unpopular and inauspicious flower for samurai and their families. Tsubaki blossoms drop to the ground as a complete flower instead of petal by petal. To the samurai, this represented the death of the warrior in one stroke.
The popularity of the tsubaki reached a height during the Edo era. Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada incorporated tsubaki in his flower garden. After provincial representatives viewed the garden, a tsubaki boom happened across Japan for all social classes. In fact, a 100 Tsubaki Catalogue was produced, allowing for selective breeding.
Tsubaki and botan (peony) can often be confused. The classic feature of tsubaki is the tightly packed clump of stamena at the center of the flower. Tsubaki have between five to nine petals, and they are usually shown as a single layer of petals. In stylized versions, the petals will meld into one large undulating ring around the center. Botan are usually fuller than tsubaki and have multiple layers of petals. The petals are usually more ragged on the edges than tsubaki petals. Tsubaki that are depicted with their branches can be called edatsubaki (camellia branches) or tsubaki no orieda (camellia on bent branches).
While these are general rules to distinguish between tsubaki and botan, highly stylized versions or unusual artistic interpretations can muddle this distinction.
A tsubaki tree depicted on a kimono.
A close up of more realistically depicted tsubaki.