Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Common Motifs: Ajisai - Hydrangea

I've always loved flowers, both growing and giving them, so when I moved to Japan I was quick to notice their hydrangea plants were a little different than the ones I was used to. The Japanese kind (or American kind I had just never run into before?) had blooms that sort of dangled and hung off the main blossom like little ornaments.

Asking my coworkers, I learned the Japanese word for hydrangea is ajisai 紫陽花, and the type I was used to is 西洋紫陽花 ("seiyou ajisai" or "Western hydrangea").

Hydrangea, due to their blooming this time of year, are considered an early summer/June motif: below are some examples as seen on a karinui (unfinished and unsewn) furisode, a wedding uchikake, a yukata bolt, an iromuji (solid color) kimono, and a fukuro obi.












Photos are copyright Ichiroya and used with permission.

3 comments:

Kelly Maple said...

Hahaha! 'Common Motifs' is my favourite feature on your blog, I've made notes on every single one in a dedicated Word Document on my laptop.

My birthday is on the 9th of June, so it was great seeing a new installment of my favourite feature on my birthday. ^.^

Christina said...

Cool! I'm glad you found it helpful. :) And you know, I was just thinking about this series and how I want to start doing it again. So I'll have to work it back into my routine.

I've also found another Japanese-language website on specific monthly kimono seasonality that I hope to start translating by the end of the month.

In honor of your epic read-through of my blog, when I start I'll start with June. :D

Kelly Maple said...

Yay! A 'Common Motifs' revival! ^.^

I loved that seasonality chart you translated a little while back, I saved a copy of it, and made smaller charts for each season and month so it would be a little easier to read.

I also listed all the motifs it mentioned. I couldn't believe how many there were! And I don't even think that's all of them! I'm going to have so much fun when it's finally time to go shopping! ^.^

You'll start with June? Awwwwww, that's so sweet of you! Thanks! ^.^