Friday, April 15, 2016

Motifs: Momiji (Maple Leaves)

What could be more symbolic of autumn than falling leaves? There is no denying the seasonality of momiji, often portrayed in warm tones as they flutter and fall in kimono patterning.

Once again, my very best example is on a ningyo. This lovely lady was a rescue from a thrift store and is much taller than some of my other ladies, so she appears here in her natural habitat-- on top of one of my book shelves.

"A Japanese Lady Walking in the Rain" is what I believe the little tag on her base reads. You can see one of my rare male dolls lurking behind her.
Her kimono has faded over the years, but I don't think this lessens just how striking the falling leaves are against the pale mauve fabric. Her obi is emblazoned with kiku (chrysanthemums) in paler cream tones and silver.

Out of my own collection, one of my best momiji examples is combined with another design element-- sensu (fans). Such small patterns are often refered to as 'komon' and are generally considered to be relatively informal (there will always be some sort of exception, but it's a reasonable guideline to follow).

Photo taken at Clockwork Alchemy 2015 during my panel 'Don't be that Gaijin'
The above photo is not the clearest example of the kimono in question (I promise I'll have a better one when we get to S for Sensu/Fans) but it does offer the surprise bonus of momiji as part of the pattern of the VERY formal fukuro obi I had brought along for demonstration purposes. The leaf pattern is in the little cloud at the bottom left.

There are many other design elements in that particular obi, including botan, or peony, and it was only when I was looking for images of this kimono that I discovered this little facet of the design. There are many pieces in my collection which have neat or intriguing little designs, and if my kind readers have favorite 'Easter Eggs' in their own wardrobe, I should love to read about them in the comments!

I am spending some time away from the keyboard this week, so any replies to comments may be slower than usual. I do have plenty of posts lined up for the challenge, though, and with tomorrow's motif, we are back to spring and summer motifs with the Nadeshiko (Pinks).

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