Travelling Outfit: A Journey – Japanese late Heian period (12th century) – Sugawara no Naeme

East Kingdom Wiki:

Full documentation:

Noblewomen of the Heian era of Japan (794-1185) were rarely seen in public, remaining at home behind screens and curtains, hidden from the view of almost everyone outside of her female attendants and husband. Venturing out to a shrine or temple would be one of the only reasons to leave the confines of one’s own garden. If a lady was not travelling by palanquin, she must ride a horse or walk, and a travelling outfit provides utility of movement and protection from both insects and prying eyes.

I have created a travelling outfit consisting of three garments and a veiled hat modelled after the “tsubo-shozoku with ichime gasa with mushi no tareginu” (travelling outfit with hemp veiled sedge hat) example found at the Kyoto Costume Museum. My recreated travelling outfit would be appropriate for a noblewoman of modest rank of the late Heian period during the fall, winter, or spring for travelling to the market or a temple.

My Blog where I documented my daily progress:

43 thoughts on “Travelling Outfit: A Journey – Japanese late Heian period (12th century) – Sugawara no Naeme

    1. Thank you! I was drawn to this ensemble specifically so I could walk around events not on my pants/nagabakama.

  1. Just absolutely gorgeous, and the video is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing, it is just so luxurious!

    1. Thank you! It has been such a pleasure to share my work, thank you for your help facilitating that.

  2. Beautiful, lot of work all done by hand. Your stitches are amazing. You did a great job. Wonderful explanation in the video.

  3. Wow, the depth of your research into this project is amazing! From the garment research to the construction to the tanka poems to the keeping of the diary in the style of a Heian noblewoman – the whole thing is very impressive!

    1. Arigato gozaimasu! Thank you! I felt a little as though I gave in to scope creep – I’m so glad everything came together the way it did.

  4. Thank you for this insight to a culture I have not that much experience with. What an ingenious way to retain their modesty without sacrificing peripheral vision as some of the other headware options do,

    1. Thank you, it is a pleasure to share what I know. One of the things I love about the hat is how well it lets me hide while standing out.

    1. Arigato! Thank you! I will admit to spending a fair amount of time just petting the brocade while I worked on it.

  5. I enjoyed seeing your process and thank you for your candor! I love that you shared your daily progress, with the triumphs and challenges. The outfit is amazing and I hope to one day see it in person.

    1. Domo arigato gozaimasu! Thank you very much! I learned so much in the process, and I only hope that by sharing my stumbles I can help others avoid the same pitfalls. Challenge and failure are powerful teachers.

    1. Thank you! I was a little hesitant about sharing the poetry, but I’m so glad I did!

  6. This is stunning, and I am amazed that you finished the entire project in 3.5 months! The entire outfit looks so luxurious, and I appreciate learning more about a culture outside of Europe.

    1. Arigato! Thank you! It was a big challenge to get everything done on time – I can barely believe it myself.

  7. I am blown away by your entry. Extraordinary work from the clothing to the diary.

    You should be justly proud of this, it’s exquisite work!

    1. Thank you! Arigato gozaimasu!

      I’ve never been more satisfied with a project. And I’m blown away by the response. Thank you.

  8. Magnificent! I love the way this really evokes period images to me. I’ve enjoyed everything about this entry!

    Astridr Musi

    1. Arigato! Thank you! That is a very touching and humbling compliment that lets me know I’m doing something right. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  9. This is truly a labor of love. I am really impressed with the way you documented your entry and the journey you took to get here. Thank you so much. This is just wonderful.

    1. Your Majesty! Domo arigato gozaimasu!

      Thank You for Your kind words. It is my deep pleasure to share what I love with the Kingdom and add my art to this special event.

  10. This was a really involved and ambitious project. Thanks for sharing all your challenges and set-back as well as the things that went well.

  11. This is amazing. So beautiful and graceful. All of it is very cool, but I am particularly delighted by the hat. It is such a clever solution to several problems.

    1. Thank you! I’ve always felt a bit more bold walking around in it. With the decorative cords (kazari-himo) on the curtains, the wind should be less of a problem than it was with just a veil panel. I can’t wait to test it at an event!

  12. This project makes me so happy. This was beautifully done and demonstrated a lovely research process. I knew nothing about this type of dress and culture before reading your work so this was a lovely introduction. Thank you.

    1. Domo arigato gozaimasu! Thank you so very much!
      It delights me that this entry brought you happiness.

      I have you to thank for the inspiration of how to present my project. Your class on presenting your work for competition was insightful and your approach with your Champion entry was the impetus for how I shared this. Thank you for illuminating the path.

  13. I’m just stunned by the time, research, and skill that went into this – well done! Taking on non-Western subjects can be especially daunting, so I really applaud you taking that on.

  14. This is an absolutely incredible outfit! Well researched, well documented, I love the inclusion of the poetry, an impressive variety of techniques and skills, and I can’t believe you did all this in just a couple months! WOW! Thank you for sharing this…I really enjoyed reading all about it, and the results are stunning!

  15. Absolutely stunning work! The amount of care and attentiin to even the smallest detail is astounding!
    I loved learning a bit about the time period of this culture. It was just fascinating!
    Thank you! ❤

  16. As has been said above, this is an amazing look into this outfit on so many levels. I would also add that I will heed your advice and attempt to remember to measure any fabric or other materials as the case may be, before beginning a project. Thank You!

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