"Izumo no Okuni" Costume RenewedFestival of Ages, Renewal from "Miko" Costume10 October 2013 - Sightseeing/Events
Prior to the October 22 start of the "Jidai Matsuri," or Festival of Ages, one of Kyoto's three major festivals, the costume for "Izumo no Okuni," a woman of the early Edo Period, was renewed and unveiled on October 10 at Heian Jingu Shrine in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. The novel and gorgeous costume from the bygone days when she originated Kabuki in Kyoto has been resurrected.
It is said that Okuni began a performance of "Kabuki-odori," or the origin of Kabuki, at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, in 1603, wearing a flashy costume for men who were called "Kabukimono," or a dandy, at that time.
Although "Izumo no Okuni" was dressed in "Miko" costume with a straw lampshade hat until last year, the design of her dress was renewed for the first time since she began participating in the Festival of Ages procession 60 years ago. The image of "Izumo no Okuni" in theatrical costume was reproduced based on a Kabuki pictorial book called "Kabuki-zukan" drawn during the early Edo Period.
The new costume has a magnificently designed, short-sleeved kimono called "Kosode" with dandelion leaves and folding fans spread across the background fabric covered by a jacket with peony and arabesque designs. Graceful touches are added with a good-luck charm of gold brocade hanging around her neck, a gilded gourd, a red-handled sword, and other items. The costume costs 4.5 million yen. Shigeki Kawakami, a member of the committee for verifying the Festival of Ages and a professor specializing in the history of Japanese dyeing at Kwansei Gakuin University, said, "As the costume of Okuni no longer exists, we recreated it from the picture. We want visitors to see 'Izumo no Okuni' in a dandy, gorgeous costume."
The Festival of Ages was inaugurated in 1895, the year following the 1,100th anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto as the national capital. This year marks the 109th festival.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)