The Japanese concept of mono no aware (物の哀れ), or the sense of beauty that comes from the awareness of the transience of all things, is most often exemplified by the beautiful but short-lived cherry blossom season. However, while I was going through our garden looking for inspiration recently, it struck me that these gorgeous fire-like day lily blooms are another flower that is perfectly suited the concept, having as short and vivid a lifespan as they do.
I wanted to balance the modern, sharp, nearly abstract shapes of the lilies with something much softer and more delicate, and the gentle sweeping lines of our grapevine seemed like the perfect contrast. I then chose a very organic and vintage-feeling container and paired it in turn with a clean-lined and almost harsh pedestal. I aimed to create an arrangement that seemed as timeless as it was fleeting, things with a sense of age framed against things that have existed only for a moment. I love how they come together to form both visual and emotional balance, something I am working on as I continue my journey into ikebana.
After deciding to make this a regular feature, I started planning out all sorts of outfits. Seasonally appropriate outfits, special combinations for holidays, etc. And then this lily furisode arrived and all my plans flew right out the window! I couldn’t wait to do something with it. I had this really lovely warm gold fukuro obi with subtle green and pink accents from the obi bundle eons ago, and it seemed like the perfect complement to the rich green of the kimono. I also happened to have just about the perfect obidome for this kimono, a gold oval with pink lilies on it!
Unfortunately, this also reminded me how long it’s been since I tied anything other than a simple hanhaba or nagoya obi, and I ended up having to improvise a sort of large-scale cho-cho/bunko hybrid musubi. It’s not ideal, but I think it worked out alright.
It’s been literally several years since I bought a kimono. I still have ones I haven’t worn, ones that don’t fit, ones that I am too old for. I’d promised myself no more buying kimono.
And then Jess went and put this one up on the market. I have coveted this kimono for as long as she’s had it. I love the rich, dark green colour and the beautiful, delicate lilies. She needed money, I needed this kimono. Clearly, it was meant to be.
It arrived today, and it’s everything I’d been hoping for and more. I can’t wait to dress Tsukiko in it!
The body is a gorgeous rich deep green, intersected with a sort of ribbon-like fluid design and lilies. The hem is navy blue, which I did not realise in the photos!