Nadeshiko (撫子) Pinks

Name: Nadeshiko (撫子) Pinks (A.K.A. Dianthus or Wild Carnation)

Seasonal Association: Summer, Autumn

When To Wear It: April-October

Auspicious: no


The nadeshiko has always had a strong association with women and love. The phonemes that make up the word (nade=stroked/petted and ko=child) indicate a strong personification of this flower.  In fact, waka poets saw the nadeshiko as a personification of a girl who has been raised by a man.  The nadeshiko’s association with women is still just as strong today. In the modern world, the term yamato nadeshiko is used to describe the ideal Japanese woman, the characteristics of which can be found here.  In addition, the name of The Japan National Woman’s Soccer Team, one of the darlings of Japanese sporting world, is Nadeshiko.

During the Heian period, nadeshiko would be a name applied to a juuni-hitoe that was appropriate for summer. The specific colors of this gown vary with different sources, but maroon, crimson, scarlet, pink, and lavender are all colors that are associated with it.

Aki no nanakusa (秋の七草):

The seven flowers or grasses of autumn. It’s unknown who first put together this group of plants as a representation of autumn, but it is a classic theme of even the oldest Japanese poetry.

It includes…
hagi (bush clover)
susuki (pampas grass)
kuzu (arrowroot)
nadeshiko (dianthus, pink, or wild carnation)
ominaeshi (valerian or maiden flower)
fujibakama (mistflower)
kikyo (Chinese bellflower) NB: occasionally, asagao (morning glory) is substituted for kikyo.

For more information on aki no nanakusa, check out 


Nadeshiko is another flower with five petals (see below). The petals of the nadeshiko are ragged at the edges.

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New Motifs and an Update!

Hello Everyone!

I feel as if I’ve been neglecting this site, and for that I apologize!  It’s been very busy here.  My town recently finished it’s largest festival of the year called awa odori, I am currently making use of my kitsuke license to give lessons to others once a month, I am now taking wasai lessons twice a month (plus homework!) and I’m working on some larger scale, long-term projects as well (Let’s just say, if you didn’t know I had a youtube account, you may want to check it out now.  It’s going to get interesting in the next few months).  That combined with my regular work (you know, the kind that actually earns me some money) and just living and taking care of the house, well, a lot of things that I have planned find themselves pushed to the back-burner.  Sometimes repeatedly.

With that being said, I decided that today would be a blog day, so I have created a lot of new pages, mostly on motifs, which has been badly neglected since the end of spring!  First, we have nadeshiko a popular flower on yukata and appropriate for summer or autumn kimono.  Next, we have asagao aka morning glory, one of the few flowers that represent summer.  Finally, I’ve started a new category of motifs, geometric patterns.  The first pattern I decided to focus on was the sayagata or linked Buddhist swastikas.

And with all that work, I decided it would be a good idea to let you all know what some of my sources are for motif information.  My library is growing quite large, and I’ve listed the titles I use on a regular basis here so you can check them out yourself.

Hope you have all had an amazing summer!  I know I’m looking forward to the temperature dropping again.  I will definitely have more choice in my kimono wardrobe (I currently only have one full set of summer appropriate kimono, obi, and accessories.  It’s sad.)  And I’m looking forward to all the kimono related activities, articles, blogs, and videos I have planned from here until the end of the year.  It’s going the busy.  Can’t wait!