- Beautiful Cloud
This is another lovely hikizuri to add to my collection, she was a bit of a mystery when I bid on her and she's still a bit of a mystery now.
I originally bid on her because she looked like a maiko hikizuri in the rough. Well, after much thought, speculation, consultation and analysis I've come to the conclusion that she's actually a hangyoku's hikizuri. You see, there are a lot of curiosities to this kimono (too many to get into), but there are some things which say that this is a maiko hikizuri, and some things that say it isn't, along with some things that are difficult to ignore. Basically I can look at this kimono and say for certain that it's not a maiko hikizuri, a kakeshita, an odori kimono, or an onnagata kimono. The only thing that satisfies all the structural "tells" of this kimono is a hangyoku's hikizuri. I did want to mention for those who are wondering; I found absolutely NO evidence of sleeve tucks on this kimono, but there is some very slight potential evidence for shoulder tucks. Unfortunately, that evidence is so slight that I'm not willing to say for certain that they were there. I have seen hangyoku wear hikizuri with shoulder tucks but no sleeve tucks, and I have also seen them wear hikizuri with no tucks what-so-ever.
Some of the curiosities about this kimono that I did want to discuss have to to with the silk itself. You see, it's a ro furisode, and anything ro is usually unlined (or only lightly lined), but this kimono is fully lined with habutae on the trunk and sleeves, and kinsha on the hakkake. It also has a habutae hiyoku not only on the skirt and collar, but on the sleeve cuffs, and the sleeve openings. There are also remnants of red lining in certain places. So not only is this thing ro, it's fully lined and even DOUBLE lined in some places.
When this kimono arrived a couple of things about it surprised me. First, when I lifted the hiyoku, I found this beautiful gradated hakkake similar to my Shidare Hikizuri.
Second, when I inspected the sleeves, I found this little string attaching the two sides of the sleeves so that they wouldn't turn inside out for any reason. I've never seen that on a kimono before.
I named this kimono Kasumi for the cloud motifs and her soft purple colour.