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Spring Kimono Motifs - March

Did you know that the traditional Japanese kimono motifs have a seasonality expression? That the kimono worn in the coldest parts of winter will look different from those worn in the peak of the summer heat? While the structure and shape of the kimono will remain largely the same, there will be differences in the motifs used, and also the liner of the kimono. Kimono for cooler and cold weather will typically be lined, while Japanese kimono for cool to warm weather will be unlined.

The motif on the kimono will largely dictate when the kimono should be worn. The concept of wearing certain motifs during different times and parts of the year goes back as far as the Hian period, if not further. We know a lot about the Heian period motifs and their rigid observation as a result of the Pillow Book, which was a Heian period personal diary from a noble lady of the time.

March is here, which means spring has arrived. So what motifs are commonly associated with march, and spring? A quick and easy way to figure a lot of the motifs out from the natural world is that they are commonly associated with the activity of that plant, such as when a specific flower blooms.

There are some differences in opinion as to when which motifs should be worn, so keep in mind these are not firm and rigid rules. After all, flowers bloom at different times based on how far north or south they are of the quarter. So while a flower may be blooming in southern Japan or in the southern parts of the USA it may not be in bloom in the northern regions until a few weeks later. There are also some schools of thought that encourage wearing certain flowers before they bloom. Though opinions vary widely, we can all agree that the motifs are beautiful.

March Kimono Motif Guide