Copyright David Dexter
|Romaji||Chidori (also Tidori)|
|Seasonal Exceptions||Is commonly featured on Summer items|
Chidori (English: plover), are small wading birds from the Charadriinae subfamily. While a number of chidori species can be found in Japan (Long-billed plover (Ikaru-chidori), Little Ringed Plover (Ko-Chidori), Common Ringled Plover (Hajiro-ko-chidori), Kentish Plover (Shiro-chidori), Lesser Sand Plover (Medai-chidori), Greater Sand Plover (O-medai-chidori), Pacific Golden Plover (Munaguro), Grey Plover/Black-bellied Plover (Daizen)), chidori are not specific to Japan and are found worldwide.
Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
Chidori is an interesting motif on kimono and you can be forgiven for being confused by it's seasonal use. Traditionally classed as winter motif, chidori is most commonly featured on summer items to evoke the coolness of winter.
In order to determine the correct season, type of weight and weave of fabric must be considered along with whether it is lined and any additional motifs.
Common Motif Pairings
- Wave - known specifically as Nami no Chidori (winter and summer)
- Water swirls (winter and summer)
- pine (winter)
Due to the chidori's cry of chiyo, a homonym for 'chiyo 千代' which means "1000 generations", chidori are considered an auspicious motif. Therefore, it would be acceptable to wear chidori out of season to celebratory occasions where you wanted to express your wish of "long life" (i.e: weddings, formal birthday dinners, etc).
Motif in Literature & Other Usage
The famous haiku poet, Issa (1763-1828) often referenced chidori in his haiku:
ashibi taku tarai no naka mo chidori kana
even in the tub
where reeds are burning...
The chidori is also the kamon for the geiko hanamachi of Pontocho, with fondness of the plovers on the banks of the Kamogawa.
Relevant Threads / Discussions
- ↑ Shorebirds in Japan
- ↑ Jaanus - search "chidori"
- ↑ HaikuGuy.com archive of Issa haiku with chidori
- ↑ Issa haiku about plovers in winter
- Snowy or Kentish Plover Shiro-chidori Photo Copyright David Dexter.
- Chidori Lantern in Pontocho Photo Copyright Chie Gondo.
Authors & Contributors
Author/s: Naomi Graham Hormozi (Immortal Geisha (IG Username))