Types of Kimono - Edo Komon

After seeing from most formal to gradually semi-formal kinds of kimono - furisode, kurotomesode, irotomesode, houmongi, tsukesage and iromuji - it's time to start covering the more casual types!

Komon, meaning "small pattern", is a generic name for a kimono with repeated patterns all over the fabric. The Edo Komon is a specific kind of komon that became most popular in ancient Tokyo - then named Edo - and has it's patterns formed by thousands of tiny dots.

Edo komon. In the detail shot, countless little white dots that create the pattern can be seen.

In old times, Edo komon was typically blue with white dots. That's because the raw-colored silk was covered in the dot region, then dyed, so the dots would remain white. Now, it also comes in other colors, althou the dots tend to be still white.

Since it's pattern is so small, Edo komon seems to be of solid color from a distance. That makes it almost as formal as iromuji, so it can be worn to casual parties, dinners, graduations (not for the person graduating) and social events. Also like iromuji, it's a quite versatile kind of kimono, becoming more formal if crested, or more informal if paired with casual obi and accessories.

Zooming in the pictures is quite essential in the next examples. ;P *

Edo Komon looks solid from afar but, looking closer, the tiny pattern 
creates a visual texture, and then, up very close, it becomes visible.

Iromuji? Looks like it, but zooming in at the fabric again and again...
There you are, minuscle flower dotted pattern! XD

This example uses an interesting "patchwork" effect with various patterns, all created by dots. Notice how the different dot sizes and configurations provide several textures and shades on the same background color.

This specific dot configuration, in overlapped circles, is called same komon, or "sharkskin" komon. It's very traditional, being used in the samurai ceremonial garment kamishimo in old times.

++ If you're interested, this website has a lovely list of a few traditional and seasonal Edo komon patterns, with example pictures and brief but informative explanations: Hirose Dye-Works.

Edo komon is often worn with taiko musubi - that can be both formal or "daily" musubi, depending on the obi motif/fabric. but I've also seen it worn with tsunodashi/ginza musubi - which would be a good choice to a more informal look. Musubi is not my specialty, but I imagine other kinds of semi-formal and casual knots may be adequate too, if the situation is informal. As for kinds of obi, I'd say Nagoya obi and Hanhaba obi are a good choice to go with Edo komon - the latter being for a more casual style. Fukuro obi is probably too dressy from this level of kimono formality and "under".

Edo komon with sakura (cherry blossoms) pattern, worn with
taiko musubi, maybe the most versatile of all obi knots.

Now, to make things a bit complicated (as kimono loves to do ^^;)... Althou Edo komon technically has it's pattern made of dots, during my research for this post I found not-dotted kimono labelled as "Edo komon" (including at the store where this post's examples are from). It confused me a bit, but maybe any komon with very small, repeated, non-colored patterns can be considered "Edo komon"?

Here are some "Edo komon" patterns, but the two on the left 
aren't really made of dots - but small stripes and squares.

Interesting and a bit ambiguous... I wonder - and this is my supposition! Don't quote me on that! XD - if in that case, the most subtle the pattern, the more that Edo komon resembles an iromuji, therefore the less casual it is... On the other hand, Edo komon with bigger/more defined patterns - but that still looks like a "texture" - are more informal, being visually closer to the regular Komon...

This is labeled as Edo komon, but the pattern is big enought not to be mistaken with a solid color. Also, it's not made of dots, but little geometric shapes. Still, the effect is of a "texture" on the kimono... I wonder if that's the main aspect that defines Edo komon in the daily/comercial use of the term?

Looking from afar, this Edo komon with little squares seems pratically of solid color. Somehow it strikes me as more formal than the example above, with similar color scheme, but more visible patterns.

Tiny stripes versus small stripes. They're both labeled by the store as Edo komon, but the left one has a much softer texture effect, so - if I had to guess - I'd personally say it looks more formal than the one in the right. (I loved the subtle touches of red on the later one, by the way <3).

...I was planning to cover Komon on this post too, but Edo komon took too much space! XD I'l cover komon on the next post, so, thank you for your patience! ^^;

*These examples are from Kimono-Asobi, so, to see more Edo komon, go check it out! ^^

Um comentário:

  1. I appreciate your learning our complicated culture. In Japan, Iromuji can be formal when having family crest. It is useable for many situations. Without family crest, it is informal. Tied by black Fukuro obi, Otaiko, we can use informally for funeral.