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Court Colors question for Hiraizumi-dono and others

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  • Ii Saburou
    As I try to get a proper set of court clothes together, it strikes me that the change in colors is rather odd and would indicate less of a uniformity than one
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 13, 2003
      As I try to get a proper set of court clothes together, it strikes me that
      the change in colors is rather odd and would indicate less of a uniformity
      than one might think. Okay, so individual edicts might be posted to bring
      people into line, but it would seem that something triggered such edicts.

      My question concerns the evolution of court clothing and what we do and
      don't know. How rigid was the system? Since length of the kyo grew over
      time, and the colors shifted, it would seem that there had to be some
      shifting and people wearing the 'wrong' colors at some times. In 664 AD,
      according to the chart on http://www.sengokudaimyo.com, Midori was the 8th
      rank color, but in 685 Koki midori was the 6th rank color and asaki midori
      was the 7th rank color. This looks like people brought their colors with
      them as they rose in rank, for whatever reason. Likewise the suo colors
      (Koki suo and Asaki suo) of the 8th and 9th ranks of 685 AD seem rather
      similar to the Kokiake colors of 664 AD.

      2nd and 3rd ranks appear to remain pretty constant until Kamakura, and by
      701 it looks (according to this particular chart) pretty constant until
      the Kamakura period. At that point we see only a minor adjustment in the
      colors of the 1st to 4th ranks--possibly because of the new warrior
      aristocracy?

      Any attempt I would make at rationalizing this would be mostly a wild
      guess, but I'm curious if anyone has done any research on the subject.
      Were these edicts issued and suddenly everyone was scrambling to get the
      new 'proper' clothes, or did bold trendsetters defy traditional clothing
      styles and start a new court fashion that was then put down into law?

      I do have to say, though, that the chart I'm looking at is hardly a
      chronologically balanced chart, and it might be interesting to chart it on
      a more visual scale that gave a better idea of how long between each edict
      it actually was.

      -Ii
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