FURISODE is a type of KIMONO with long sleeves which is the most formal KIMONO for an unmarried woman.
In Japan, most of the women wear FURISODE to attend SEIJIN-SHIKI (成人式) which is a ceremony held nationwide in the Coming of Age Day (成人の日) in January.
Those who attend this ceremony are men and women who has attained (or will attain shortly) his/her 20th year which is regarded as adult in Japan.
By the way, SEIJIN-SHIKI is not only to celebrate those young people but also for them to thank their parents and to become conscious of the responsibility as an adult.
Today, there are plenty of FURISODE rental shops so that the hurdles to wear it is not very high.
However, when it comes to making it, the preparation starts usually at the girl’s age of 18 or 19.
The family who decides to make FURISODE for their daughter is to go to KIMONO shop like mine.
(It is not rare to come even in all the family members!)
This shows the special feeling that parents and grandparents have toward FURISODE for their loveable daughter(s).
I like the moment when they see the lines of FURISODE first time since they are uniformly surprised at its gorgeous appearance and touched by the excellent craftsmanship.
They then evaluate the colors, designs by unfolding one by one out of several dozens of basted FURISODE and decide which they want to try on.
For fathers, this is a moment to appreciate his beautifully grown-up daughter in FURISODE.
When they finally decide the one to purchase with unanimous consent among the family, OBI, ZŌRI (Japanese sandals) and bag which suit the selected FURISODE should be chosen.
After choosing all the items like this, the selected basted FURISDE is sent to a KIMONO custom tailor after measuring the size. It takes usually one or two month.
When the FURISODE is get ready and come back to the shop, the date to deliver to the customer is also very important, so the luckiest day of the lunar calendar is chosen.
Now, why are the sleeves of FURISODE long?
It is said that the right sleeve is to fun away the evils and left sleeve is to invite luck and that parents made it longer and longer reflecting their thoughts to the child.
By the way, in Japan, women has supposedly bad years at the age of 3, 7,13,15,19 and 33.
Especially 19th and 33rd are called grand climacteric years, therefore in old times, the women at the age of 19 visited a shrine wearing FURISODE to shake off the evil.
As you can see, FURISODE has such deep meanings while it is nowadays considered as a uniform for SEIJIN-SHIKI.
Other than SEIJIN-SHIKI, there are many occasions to wear FURISODE by the way.
Wedding ceremony of your family or friends (if you are still single), graduation ceremony of your school or other formal parties…
And also never forget YUINŌ (結納), which is an familial ceremony to exchange betrothal gifts in Japan. Women are often offered a diamond engage ling.
In YUINŌ, the main player is the prospective bride beautifully wearing FURISODE.
For the prospective groom, this is an occasion to make his resolution to make his future wife happy.
For parents, especially the father of the woman, this should be an occasion to give up his daughter finally (but usually still keeping complicated feelings while having ceremonial meals and SAKE together during the event!)
Today, YUINŌ gathering is often simplified and sometimes skipped even, but the thoughts of both parents toward their children should never change.
This is my FURISODE tailored 40 years ago.