Pink Takara Houmongi

I’m not generally attracted to pink kimono, or kimono with lots of small scattered designs. And yet somehow, this thing captivated me from the moment I saw it. The first time it was listed I forgot to bid and kicked myself repeatedly for missing out on it. I guess nobody else bid either, because a few days later it was listed again at an even lower price. I couldn’t believe my luck. I bid on it immediately so I wouldn’t forget, and hoped nobody else would bid either.

The end of the auction was coming up but I had to get to bed, so I asked Naomi‘s husband Arian to keep an eye on it for me. He decided to do so by outbidding me by 50 cents. He’s quite a goof sometimes, but a very sweet goof. In any case, I’m very grateful, because it’s absolutely gorgeous.

It’s a delicate soft salmon pink with white bokashi (fade-dyeing) around the shoulder and hem. Within the white areas, there are tiny Takara or Lucky Treasures motifs.

Takara-zukushi is a pattern of assembled “takara”, or treasures, which reflect what Japanese people consider valuable.
Needless to say, “takara” comprises of sacks of gold and magical mallets of luck. Buddhist scriptures which can give you knowledge and wisdom is a major treasure too. Counterweights are also “takara” although it may sound odd to you, because they are used as a balance when valuables are weighed. As for the rest of the treasures, “choji” (an herbal medicinal ingredient), “mino” (straw raincoat) and “kasa” (wattle hat) all symbolize something to protect oneself with against calamities and are therefore also considered “takara”.
The sense of “takara” varies by era and locality. Sometimes it comprises of locks, keys, and even ritual articles.

Trying to identify each treasure in a Takara-zukushi pattern is just like opening a jewelry box. In the mood for a treasure hunt? How about looking for interesting and unique treasures on kimonos or obis with the Takara-zukushi pattern!!

Explanation courtesy of Yamatoku.

I am hoping to be able to wear it on my birthday, and I’m going to aim for a very soft, girly, Kimono Salon-style coordination, pairing it up with the beautiful Tokaido obi I received as a gift recently.

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