First off, happy new year to anyone reading this! I hope the coming year is safe, healthy, happy, and filled with beautiful things.
But now onto the actual point of this entry – my love affair with hakata-ori (hakata weave). Guess who watched The Lion King recently? XD I don't know many people who collect kimono who don't appreciate the supple, geometric beauty of hakata textiles. I do know one, but she’s silly.
Hakata is a beautiful distinctive woven textile from the city of Hakata in the Fukuoka region of Japan. It's typically a single thickness, similar in texture to gros-grain ribbon. Generally it's decorated in a geometric design in a contrasting colour, symbolic of Buddhist treasures. However, more organic or fanciful hakata does exist! I recently missed out on the chance to bid on a white and red hakata obi with fish on it. :(
Other terms for hakata weave can include honchiku or honchikuzen and hira-ori, so if you are searching online, try looking for these terms as well.
For women, hakata tends to evoke a more casual feel, although geiko commonly wear them with more formal kimono. Men, however, are lucky and the bulk of men's kaku obi are made of this sort of textile.
My personal collection of hakata textile is small, but I hope to change that eventually. All of the hanhaba obi I own at the time of this entry are hakata. I also own several fukuro-width obi of various formality levels.
Cream ro hakata fukuro
A soft creamy-white synthetic ro hakata. It's technically fukuro, but the only ro kimono I currently own is a komon, and when folded in half this obi could easily pass for being something more casual. That's part of the magic of hakata.
Green and gold hakata fukuro
Proof that you can indeed dress up hakata. This is a rich slightly blue-leaning green with white and soft gold weaving. It's not yellow, it's definitely gold-coloured, and definitely too dressy-feeling for a casual outfit. It has the perfect blend of vintage “laissez-faire” and modern dressy feeling for the vintage furisode I wear it with.
53 Stations of the Tokaido hakata nagoya
This is a particularly special piece to me. Within my kimono collection, I collect items with the 53 Stations of the Tokaido motifs. I found this one online and as soon as I'd saved enough money to purchase it, I found out someone I know online had beaten me to the punch. Through the kindness of said person and Yuka and Ichiro at Ichiroya, it found its way into my grubby little hands. Geometric hakata, organic hakata, and Tokaido motifs! Gleeeee!
Last, but definitely not least I have the two non-traditional hakata obi Naomi sent me in a box of goodies. I've yet to coordinate these with an outfit, but I will soon!
Pale and dark pink fukuro
Two soft, dusty shades of pink with white, black and yellow accents. I love how fun this one is. Definitely on the more casual end of things, I'm considering pairing it up with the purple yabane komon I bought on my birthday.
Orange and pink fukuro
This is such a fun and unexpected colour combination. A similar dusty pink to the previous one, mixed with a bright reddish orange and vivid green. I honestly have no idea what I'm going to wear this one with, it's a challenge!
That's it for my hakata, for the time being, but damned if I won't be getting more eventually!