What colors are appropriate for a woman's fukusa?
Is it frowned upon for women to the use a purple fukusa since it is the color used by men (Urasenke)? What colors are appropriate for a woman’s fukusa?
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There is a balance of in & yo, male/female in everything. It is the same for fukusa. The red (pink, orange, rust, burgundy etc., are all considered red), which is a male colour, is used by women to balance their in (yin) estrogen/female-ness. Purple (female[yin]) colour is used to balance the male yo (yang) testosterone-ness. I am not certain why Omotesenke uses only orange and Urasenke uses such a wide range of reds, but in either the men, the purple is limited to only the very dark purple.
In Urasenke, also women may use, casually, colours to complement or accent their kimono, but usually never the very dark purple of the men, opting for lavender or lesser dark purples or more red-purples. But for formal occasions, red is still orthodox and should be adhered to.
From what I’ve heard it was Tantansai choice that women should use red fukusa (that colour was described as Tantansai konomi)
Interesting thing is some women use orange fukusa. The thing is that sewing for Urasenke is officially done by Yuko family. And Yuko does not sew red fukusa. So the Okusama, wife of Oiemoto, is wearing fukusa sew by Yuko family which is orange and some women are doing it after her.
If you want you can use whatever colour you want but red and orange are most formal for women. Using purple fukusa for temae would be seen as very informal like using other colours or with patterns. Although you should use purple fukusa for displaying things in tokonoma ex. for kazarimono.
Hope it helps
I still have and use my red fukusa that was given to me by my sensei when I started. However, on the subject of color. While my male sensei always used purple, my female sensei on occasion used purple as well. At least that is my recollection. Aside from whatever yin-yang associations colors may have, there are also the ancient cap ranks of the Japanese aristocracy to consider as well. As I recall, the red used by women roughly corresponds to the fifth rank while the purple used by men roughly corresponds to a somewhat higher rank. Regardless, I studied Urasenke style.
This is an Urasenke question and I am Omotesenke yet some above have mentioned Omotesenke so…
We use purple for men and orange or red for women.
The original tradition was red for women with the story I read being because of women’s lip rouge.
We have a tradition that older women can use purple and older men brown. Of course no modern women use purple and few men use brown as everyone thinks “younger” these days. With people living longer this is perhaps not as vain as it sounds. There are other colors used but I do not have the time to look for the documentation. I remember a light blue but not how it is used. I have seen white and purple used for kencha and of course when using Chinese utensils….
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