Lucky Birds

Beautiful haori 

This elegant Japanese kimono is a popular article in the collection of the Rijksmuseum. It is a type of kimono for women called a haori that was traditionally worn open. This haori, with its delicate decorations of red and white cranes, was probably made somewhere between 1920 and 1940. We do not know who the wearer was but the red and white cranes, embroidered with gold thread, can tell us something about her. 

Lucky bird

The red colour, for example, tells us the wearer was single. The depicted cranes stand for luck. It is known that wild cranes choose their mates for life and pairs of these birds are always seen together. Not only does the crane symbolize a long life, it also signifies the virtues of honour and loyalty. This means the girl who wore this haori was looking for a partner and the young man who was able to win her heart must have been a lucky bird.