Court Colors question for Hiraizumi-dono and others
- 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
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.