Bebe Taian: 2nd Month: Kisaragi/Kinusaragi

February 22, 2012

2nd Month: Kisaragi/Kinusaragi

"Kisaragi" - Utagawa Kunisada I
Today begins kisaragi/kinusaragi (depending on writing and area, I think), which means "changing of clothes", or "wear more clothes". This time of the year was traditionally the middle of winter, which started in late December/early January, and lasts until March. This would be the time to pull out the heavier-padded juban and change your collars to something more appropriate.

Today, I think Kisaragi is now considered to be aligned with January 1st, but traditionally, this is the day. The name 'kisaragi' is still understood, but is no longer used except for in greeting cards and such. New Years' Day as it is celebrated today was introduced in 1948, although the Gregorian calender has been adopted in Japan since the late 1800s, during the Meiji era.

By now, we are nearing the beginning of March. Plum blossoms should be in full bloom, in reds turning to pink and white; a mimicry of both plum blossoms in snow, and an allusion to the colours of sakura to come! And of course, feel free to mimic in-season ukiyo-e by wearing asanoha, sayagata, or ivy-pattern fabrics in reds, greens, purples, and yellows. Are you inspired? <3

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