Tuesday, 27 January 2015

SHO CHIKU BAI The Three Friends of Winter

Sho Chiku Bai in Japanese literally means Pine (Sho), Chiku (bamboo), Bai (plum). In Chinese they are called Song Zhu Mei. The three plants are known as well as the Three Friends of Winter. They are named so as they flourish in this season.

They do not wither as the days become more and more cold in winter unlike many other plants. That's the reason why these three plants symbolize steadfastness, perseverance and resilience. Perhaps due to their nature of withstanding the severity of winter.

In Japan, Sho Chiku Bai is especially associated with the beginning of the Lunar New Year. Therefore, on the Japanese new year's greeting cards or nengajo, these symbols are commonly found.

Tsumami kanzashi also regards these plants as one of the important themes in the seasonal kanzashi. January is the season of Sho Chiku Bai. Kanzashi in this month consists of pine, bamboo, and plum blossom. Sometimes a crane ( or some cranes) is added.

This January I've made a batch of Sho Chiku Bai themed kanzashi: three hair combs and three French barrettes. I use a variety of fabrics - vintage kimono, chirimen, shibori, habotai silk.

These pieces can be worn as bridal hair accessories, or hair accessories for special occasions or as gifts.

Sho Chiku Bai in pink and gold tone.

Sho Chiku Bai in soft pink and grey.

Sho Chiku Bai in purple and lavender.

Sho Chiku Bai French barrette in red and white with a crane.

Sho Chiku Bai French barrette in purple, cream and cardinal red.

Sho Chiku Bai French barrette in scarlet.


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