Friday, February 26, 2010

Mao and Mai Asada - Heian Style!

Congratulations to Japan for its silver medal with skater Mao Asada! While looking at her and her sister Mai's official website, I ran across a couple of adorable childhood photos featuring her and Mai, who's in Heian style dress-up. Too cute!

Heian robes, the ones worn by the nobility around 1,000 years ago, were different than the kimono we know today, as you can see in Mai's simplified version. You had a white proto-kimono garment acting as underwear tucked into hakama pants, usually red or scarlet, and then layers of trailing robes worn over it. Here's a shot of the full-on adult woman version, which ranged from 5-20 layers depending on the occasion, rank and so on. Informally, it's known as juunihitoe (十二単 "12 unlined kimono"), and itsutsuginukaraginumo otherwise (五衣唐衣裳 "5 layer Chinese style clothing/costume").

Image copyright user Rori of Wikipedia.

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