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Shiromaku – Traditional wedding kimono

By admin on May 25th, 2006 2 comments

Kimonowedding_whiteWeddings don’t necessarily mean big whte dresses and I’m always on the look out for styles from different cultures or cultural cross overs (hints are more than welcome too!) I thought I’d take a look at traditional Japanese weddings this time exploring the design of the kimono.

The wedding kimono is called the shiromaku meaning ‘white’ (shiro) and ‘pure’ (maku). The bride wears the white kimono during the marriage ceremony and at the reception adds a new colourful kimono called the uchikake. The uchikako is made from silk brocade. The most popular colour is red and it is finely embroidered with nature scenes such as flowers and cranes (the bird kind!)

KimonofurisodeThis style of kimono is also called a furisode or ‘swinging sleeve’ kimono due to it’s long sleeves which are only worn by unmarried women. The uchikake is the last time a bride will wear a kimono with long sleeves. The one pictured here dates circa 1975-1985 though it’s look is timeless.

Much like Western ceremonies where items are worn for luck (something old, something new… etc) Japanese brides carry a small purse called hakoseko and a kaiken which is a small sheathed sword. Traditionally a fan is also worn in the obi, the wide sash that secures the kimono to symbolise growing happiness.

Kent State University Museum

Related stories:
Asian bridal lengha
Mehndhi for the bride

Origins of the white wedding

  • marlen

    hola, me encanta la moda japonesa
    HI! i Wish I could see more japanese clothing..there are many kinds of formal dresses

  • CJohn

    Does anyone know where to purchase Japanese items in the US?

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