When I came up with this solution to my 'J' problem, I had one specific motif in mind. This combination of bamboo, pine, and plum is so common that it has its own name: Shochikubai. Also referred to as 'The Three Friends of Winter' this motif is considered to be highly auspicious and is most associated with the New Year season (Lunar, but also Gregorian), and is also the name of a very popular brand of sake.
|Shochikubai with cute mousy-type critters guard our kitchen|
The noren above is the only example of this motif that I could find in the house, which was very surprising to me, given how very popular it is. Bemused, I went back through my collection and stumbled upon another motif that is made up of many singular aspects drawn together-- Shoen Road.
This motif, also known as 'Shining Road,' is actually more like a river motif, and the other aspects that go into making it a cohesive whole can vary greatly, depending on what impression the artist behind the fabric wished to convey.
|Detail of sleeve on pink 'shoen road' kimono.|
I find that pieces like this one do much better with uncomplicated obi and accessories; something that will mute the effect of having so much going on visually. When I wore this piece out for a very (VERY) late winter excursion, I chose a vintage knit shawl to compliment the ensemble. It was still cool enough for the second layer to be necessary, and made the whole effect less 'springy' overall.
|Pink 'shoen road' kimono paired with blue ombre obi and knit shawl.|
Tomorrow, we will be looking at what I refer to in the labels as a 'manufactured' theme. So far, we've been seeing either plants or animals with the occasional geometric, but tomorrow's theme of Kasa (umbrellas/parasols) is a motif that is clearly man-made in origin.