How many different colors are traditional hakama?

How many different colors are traditional hakama? - KUDEN by TAKAHIRO SATO

The traditional hakama has a strong image in Japanese graduation ceremonies and anime.
What color do you imagine when you hear the word hakama?

Today, there are many different colors of hakama, but what color was the traditional hakama?

I also have images of shrine maidens, my own graduation ceremony, and the anime BLEACH and Inu Yasha, but I was curious to find out more.

Colors have meaning.

The colors that could be worn were specified according to class.

It may be well known in Japan, but the color of a Miko(shrine maiden)'s hakama differs depending on her rank.
There are still vestiges of this practice in modern times, though,
In Japan, there used to be a color that no one but the most important person was allowed to wear.
Famously, purple was forbidden to be worn except by the emperor.

The ancient history of this system is that around 600, Prince Shotoku established a system called the "Twelve Ranks of the Crown," which divided officials into 12 ranks, and they wore hats of the color corresponding to their ranks.
(From the highest to lowest: dark purple, light purple, dark blue, light blue, dark red, light red, dark yellow, light yellow, dark white, light white, dark black, light black)

Even today, the colors of belts in karate or judo show the spirit of such " rank-based color coding," don't they?
I used to do karate too.
Started as a white belt and took tests and my belt color changed to yellow, green and black at last.
It is also an interesting change that the black, which had the lowest rank at old time, is the highest rank in karate.

Of course, you can wear any color you like when you enjoy wearing Hakama as a fashionable item in the modern days!
But knowledge of the historical background adds a bit of fun to the color selection, don't you think so?



Kimono Beginner's Note