Why Japan has had such an influence on the latest Trollbeads Kimono Launch
by Amanda Hart, Trollbeads UK Marketing Director
One of the best things about living in a small village in Japan for two years, was the opportunity to really get to know people – despite the inevitable language barriers – through shared interests. As the only foreigner for miles around, there was considerable interest in introducing me to the customs and culture of the country and one of my favourite ways to experience this was by looking at the stunning designs of the beautiful kimonos that families had been collecting for generations.
Sharing the knowledge of Japanese culture
It all started when an old neighbour invited me into her home one afternoon for tea. Pretty soon, she was opening the doors to her large, custom made kimono cupboard, which was shelved and beautifully lined in Japanese washi paper.
Each kimono was folded lengthwise and wrapped in a traditional rice paper cover, tied with ribbon to keep it safe and dry. As Kuribayashi-san unfolded the lustrous silk garments, one after the other, she explained to me the meanings behind the symbols painted on the silks.
Firstly, she showed me long sleeved, furi sode kimonos, where the sleeves almost brushed the tatami floors of her home. These, she explained, would have been worn before she was married – the long sleeves, combined with bright patterns and cherry blossoms
symbolising a vibrant youth.
Once Kuribayashi-san married, she, as is traditional, would have shortened the length of her sleeves and muted the colours on her kimono, so that for formal occasions, people would recognise her new status.
As we looked through the huge selection of garments, I could see plum blossoms
, which she explained symbolised the beginning of Spring; while the appearance of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms
together, was known as ‘Three friends of Winter’ and was considered extremely auspicious.
was another beautiful theme which represented everlasting happiness, whilst cranes
also appeared regularly to show the desire for a long life of 1000 years.
The idea of women representing their hopes and dreams and telling their story through the beauty of their kimonos holds true in Japan to this day.
Trollbeads designer Nozomi Kaji portrays traditional Japanese designs in her work
Nozomi’s designs for the limited edition kimono kit
represent these stories in a very beautiful and unique way – featuring delicate interpretations of cherry blossoms, family crests, plum blossom
and the intricate shibori dying technique used for centuries.
Trollbeads Kimono Set Designer Nozomi Kaji
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