Blue Striped Komon Kimono with White Rabbit and Plum Blossom Pattern and Black and Yellow Obi

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

2011 is the year of the rabbit, in the Chinese zodiac, so cute rabbit-related things have been popping up in my RSS feed for the past month or so, and it made me want to do a rabbit kimono. (By modern reckoning, I’m late, but in Japan, the New Year used to be celebrated on the Chinese schedule, between late January and mid-February, so by that standard I’m quite early!)

Of late, I’ve been inspired by the drama Osen to look at lots of vintage kimono, as the main character is the proprietor of a traditional Japanese restaurant and always wears kimono in a fun, fresh way. (I’ve found lots of good blogs along the way, but I particularly recommend Kimono Sarasa’s blog.) This is intended to be a casual, retro-style komon kimono, with large patterns all over the fabric: the bunnies are a reference to 2011, of course, while the sprigs of flowers are plum blossom, which is the first flower to bloom every year and therefore a traditional New Year’s motif. The obi, a yellow circle pattern on black, is meant to evoke — OK, not so subtly — the moon. Rabbits and the moon are linked in Japanese symbolism, because in Japan, it’s said that you can see a rabbit making mochi (a kind of rice cake) in the moon, instead of the man in the moon.

I drew this when I was visiting with my mom: we both printed out the black-and-white version and started coloring, but I finished mine, while she had to go do something in the middle and only finished her obi. Hopefully we’ll be able to see her kimono too, soon!

I’ve got a lot of things to look forward to in 2011, and I hope you all do too!

20 thoughts on “Blue Striped Komon Kimono with White Rabbit and Plum Blossom Pattern and Black and Yellow Obi

  1. This is gorgeous…very bright and colorful. I quite like it! I wish I lived in Japan, just to wear something like this. :)

  2. I just had to leave a comment for your fabulous blog! I stumbled across it–I can’t remember how just now–two days ago, and I’ve spent the last two days reading every single post. Not just looking at the dresses, mind you, but actually reading every word of every post…except for maybe two or three that were a little too heavily video game for my tastes.:) Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m completely inspired! The outfits are stunning–beautiful, brilliantly drawn, and incredibly creative. And your writing! I’m a writer but I’ve been on hiatus for rather a long time with writers block, but I think your fantastic imagination has got me right back on track! Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us.
    ~Anne

  3. Well Alexandra…I know what you mean by “regular clothes.” None of Liana’s clothes are really..well “regular. I just think I like the dresses and non kimono stuff. I love the kimonos and i think their great! I’m not trying to be mean…and i know i am being mean…sorry liana:(

  4. It’s OK, it’s not that easy to hurt my feelings! :) It’s perfectly fine to have opinions on what I should do, I don’t mind. But to be honest, I pretty much always just draw what I want to draw. I’ve said it before, but if my sole aim was to attract readers and fans, I’d do nothing but Taylor Swift and Twilight ;) So feel free to give me your opinion, but I probably will be doing a lot of kimonos in the near future, simply because that’s what I want to learn about and practice.

  5. If I wasn’t a curvy kind of girl, I would be running to a fabric designer and dress maker to have this exact kimono made for my own enjoyment. What a great idea: contemporary/modern fabrics for the traditional kimono. You rock!
    Wouldn’t it be cool if we all felt comfortable wearing different clothing styles, as they do in India, wearing a traditional sari one day, then jeans and a tee shirt the next day.
    By the way…did I miss a sari collection? Fashion week in India sari collections floored me! Wanna wear a sari too!

  6. Hey, I just found this. I’m really interested in Asian cultures and languages, and I found this really interesting and informitive. I was wondering whether or not you were going to draw a Japanese paper doll to go with your kimono. Just wondering! Thanks!

  7. Hi :) I’ve been following your bog for awhile and I love it :) I’m very happy you started with kimono’s ’cause I’m very intreseted in the Japanese culture :P I love all the drawings so it doesn’t really matter what style :P

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