Speaking of Japan, I guess there are many people who imagine “Maiko”. Have you ever seen a Maiko? Maiko’s hair is decorated with colorful hair ornaments. It is kanzashi in the motif of seasonal flowers from January to December. Seasonal flower petals for flower kanzashi are made by hand carefully with delicate color tone clothes. In Kyoto, we can know the change of the seasons, whenever Maiko’s kanzashi changes. The seasonal flowers; plum, chrysanthemum, rape flower, hydrangea, balloon flower, sakura and more… Please take a quick look at the monthly flower kanzashi..
January : Shochikubai’ (pine, bamboo, and plum trees) / Ear of rice and dove
Flower kanzashi in January is designed “Shotikubai”(pine, bamboo and plum), “Hagoita”(Japanese battledore which use on New Year’s day), winter chrysanthemum and spinning wheel. And, ear of rice kanzashi used during New year’s, and it has a meaning of “I live modestly this year too”.
February : Japanese plum flower
Flower kanzashi in February is designed white, red and pink plum flowers. Sometimes a butterfly that makes a person feel the coming of spring is attached on kanzashi.
March : Rape flower / Daffodil / Peony
Kanzashi is designed a flower that blooms in March is rape flower kanzashi. Rape flower is the representative flower in this season, and it is pretty kanzashi with many small yellow flowers. We can often see the design of silver butterflies fluttering in rape flowers.
April : Sakura
Flower kanzashi in April is designed sakura (cherry blossom flower). The kanzashi in the picture above is for a novice Maiko, it has hanging ornaments. Maiko girls grow older, they will wear a simple flower kanzashi without hanging ornament.
May : Iris / Wistaria
May is the month approaching the rainy season. In that season, Iris blooms beautifully.
This refreshing colored flower kanzashi makes Maiko looks cool.
This elegant flower kanzashi in the motif of wisteria flowers also looks refreshed.
The representative flower in June, speaking of the rainy season is hydrangea!
The flower kanzashi symbolizes the season decorates Maiko’s hair gorgeously.
Although people has a image of the muggy weather in June in Kyoto, willow which has refreshing tender green leaves decorate Maiko’s hair.
July ：Fan of Gion
I n July, the streets of Kyoto become devoted completely to Gion Matsuri Festival.
Flower kanzashi of Maiko in July is for Gion Matsuri Festival only. It is designed in the motif of Japanese fan.
August ：Japanese pampas grass/ Morning glory
【Japanese pampas grass】
The motif of flower kanzashi in August is Japanese pump grass, but the appearance is different from the general image.
This Japanese pump grass is designed like a silver color flower. It is a gorgeous and cool looking flower kanzashi.
Although the main kanzashi flower in august is Japanese pampas grass, there are a kanzashi in the motif of morning glory as a special kanzashi. Morning glory kanzashi made of paper not but silk clothes.
September：Balloon flower/ Japanese bush clover
It is perfect kanzashi with soft colors flowers for the calm atmosphere in Kyoto after busy summer season.
The representative flower in Autumn is chrysanthemum. Maiko wears various shapes kanzashis in the motif of chrysanthemum from small-sized flowers to big bloomed flowers.
November：Japanese maple leaves
Flower kanzashi in November is designed Japanese maple leaves, which dye mountains of Kyoto with red and yellow vividly. The red and yellow maple leaves makes Maiko more brilliant.
Trees that color mountain of Kyoto in November are Japanese maple tree and ginkgo tree. This flower kanzashi is designed ginkgo leaves.
December：Mochibana / Kaomise no Maneki
Flower kanzashi in December is designed Maneki and Mochibana. Mochibana is decorating trees with rice cake. And, Maneki is a wooden sign board on which kabuki actor’s name is written displayed at Minamiza Kabuki theater .
Kaomise no Maneki
There are imitated Maneki sign board written Maiko’s favorites kabuki actor’s name on her kanzashi. Maiko’s flower kanzashi in December is decorated auspicious things for the new year.