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May is full of purple. The blue flag iris and dangling wisteria are the colors of late Spring. Wisteria is one of Japan's most ancient flowers. Blooming in several varieties, from the purple wisteria we commonly tend to think of, to the the early blooming pale pink and later blooming white. A color for every maiko! Celebrated in the beautifully variegated wisteria trellises of Japan's flower parks, and celebrated in famous Japanese poems, the wisteria of Japan are a real springtime treasure. Iris is the second most classic kanzashi flower for May. In Japan these flowers can be seen blooming on mountain slopes and are a flower which has captured artistic spirits over the years as a symbol of purity, appearing in paintings, poems, and kimono.

A cluster of irises with softly tinted pink and purple petals. Worn by senior maiko, or made "cuter" with a long silk tassel for a junior maiko's style

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Both senior and junior maiko wear these dramatic wisteria kanzashi.

With the dynamic falls and silver butterflies these are some of the most exquisite maiko kanzashi.

The treasure ship is auspicious motif usually thought of as a sakkou (graduation) kanzashi, but it was once seen in a full silk set worn by Mamesaku in May --- just after she became a full fledged maiko. With my birthday falling in this month it's fun to have such a lucky kanzashi to wear for the party!

 

A wisteria and trellis design with, flowers hanging from a golden lattice mimicking the magnificent wisteria parks in bloom.

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A popular motif amongst senior maiko, the single blue flag iris has clean lines and makes a sophisticated kanzashi. I love the dye work on these pins! Mostly in purple, they do show up occasionally in white or pink.

Lily of the valley, a rare design I once saw photographed by the Ikuokaya store as a maiko kanzashi for May. I've yet to see a maiko wearing the design, but as one of my favorite flowers, I had to make one for my collection!

Primary Motifs
Additional Decorations
Wisteria Silver Butterflies
Blue Flag Iris  
Lily of the Valley
Treasure Ship
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There's still more to add so check back later!

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