This is one of cases in Japan. Nowadays, there are few opportunities for Japanese to wear a kimono. We only wear it in Shichi-go-san (a ceremony when kids turn three, five and seven years old), the coming of age ceremony, funerals or weddings. Even if there are not many opportunities that we are supposed to wear a kimono, like at a formal ceremony, we tend to dress in western clothes instead. The reason why we prefer not to wear it is that it’s expensive and hard to put on. There are many rules involved in kimono dressing and numerous accessories we have to prepare.
On the other hand, the number of people who love kimono is increasing in younger generations. Even the many kimono rules that make people avoid wearing a kimono are turning into appealing elements to them.
Almost all the rules regarding kimono are related to the four seasons in Japan
According to the rule of kimono, what type of kimono we wear depends on the calendar. In April, we wear Awase; a lined kimono, Hitoe; an unlined kimono in June, Ro or Shya (summer kimono) in July and August, and in September, back to Hitoe and in October, we wear Awase and Hitoe and so on. (Recently the temparature in Japan has getting warmer so people tend to wear kimono according to it flexibly.)
There are also rules about kimono patterns depending on the seasons. Types of textiles and tailoring are just basic requirements but how you coordinate kimono patterns are not like that. It is sort of ”the aesthetics people assume to have”.
For example, people are expected to wear cherry blossom patterned kimono up until the cherry blossoms bloom in spring. You are not supposed to wear it while they are blooming because the pattern implies excitement of people who wait for the bloom. It is thought that people should look at the cherry blossoms as they bloom and fall in real time, not the ones drawn on kimono.
The reason why people are attracted to kimono might be because we notice how ancient people loved seasons and nature every time we follow the rules, and because we realize that we have the same spirit within us.
Shape of clothing may have an effect on peoples’ mind. We can understand how ancient people felt about the seasons in Japan as if we were they – when we wear kimono, which they used to wear at that time. This fresh and new experience really invites you to the kimono world.