Kira Asahi – Japanese Court Garb

  • Item: Japanese Court Garb – Junihitoe

Lady’s Japanese court garb, a “junihitoe” (12-layer garment) including a hand embroidered karaginu (jacket) of my device. This outfit was established in the Heian era (800-1185), but continues to be used for court functions today. This set would be worn from mid-spring through early summer, based on the construction techniques and color scheme. I used patterns from the Jidai Ishô no Nuikata. The garment set, from the inside out:

  • Kosode – “underwear” worn next to the skin and not seen; constructed of light weight white undyed habotai silk.
  • Nagabakama – Extra-long intense red pants that can be tied up under the knee to walk around; constructed with a very smooth stiff Dupioni silk.
  • Hitoe – extra-large white patterned silk broadcloth un-lined underrobe
  • Itsutsuginu (5x uchigi) – I created the effect of 5 layers of colored robes in kasane no irome ‘orange tree’ color scheme using modern silk dyes to mimic period/traditional colors. I used a medium silk organza to mimic ‘Aya’ silk and constructed it without a lining, and a single ‘body’ and individual sleeves/collars for the 5 inner robes to keep the weight and heat down.
  • Uwagi – Outer robe of gold and green woven silk
  • Karaginu – I embroidered the smooth purple Duponi silk jacket using Japanese silk thread on a traditional frame/stand using documented period stitches.
  • Mo – white ‘backward apron’ made from heavy silk with obi material for decoration.

7 thoughts on “Kira Asahi – Japanese Court Garb

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  1. This absolutely blows my mind, so much work and so intricately made! We just held a Japanese Elevation, and I can fully appreciate just how much time, effort, and research went into your project. Kudos!

  2. Awesome!! I have been studying Japanese garb for a few years… I have only made two kosode out of silk… usually I’d use linen or hemp for my inner most layer… hmm

  3. The hand embroidery just blows me away – I can only imagine how long that must have taken! It’s not part of the entry, but I’d love a closer look at the beautiful shoulder-hem dyeing on the kosode, too.

  4. Stunning. The layer effect comes together beautifully! I’m curious to hear how this outfit works with temperature and airflow when worn and what the differences are between this ensemble versus garments for other seasons.

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