From Hermes, Fall 2009
Supposedly this scarf was inspired by Heian-era art, which would be exciting, but I don’t entirely see it. The colors are very bright for an era known for introspection and melancholy, and not similar to what one would see in a Genji print. Anyone see any distinctly Heian symbols? Other than the addition of black lacquer hats on men engaging in decidedly un-Heian athletic activity, I’m at a loss.
Additionally, Fuji-san is depicted in the top left corner, but Heian aristocrats lived nearly exclusively (unless essentially banished to the outer provinces by a post as a provincial governor) Heian Kyo, which is not near Fuji-san. Mt. Hiei is frequently mentioned in Heian literature, but it does not have that same distinctive, perfectly symmetrical look.
Filed under beauty, silk, sport
It frequently happens that social conversations turn to topics which everyone can comment upon, such as sport. Some of us, however, actually know nothing of professional football or basketball and thus have nothing to say. How dreadful! Should a similar occasion arise when others discuss their favorite political figures of Heian Japan, the Fujiwaras, tell them your favorite is Michinaga. Being a fan of Michinaga is like being a modern day Yankees fan. It’s a safe bet.
But won’t others thus mock such a choice, calling you a winner picker? Maybe. But like being a Yankees fan, (“What’s wrong with a few national championships? I like teams that don’t suck!”) being a fan of Michinaga no Fujiwara is easy to defend. “I really admire the way he consolidated imperial power through bridal politics,” you’ll say, easily rebuffing your opponents’ skepticism. “After all, who could force his own nephews Korechika and Takaiye into exile quite like Michinaga? He held complete control over the imperial court of Heian Kyo. ” They’ll have nothing to say in reply. Pick the obvious winner. Michinaga.