Gosyodoki (御所解)

Gosyodoki is a pattern of traditional Japanese clothes. The features of Gosyodoki are that things often appeared in dynastic style literature including "Tale of Genji" or Noh such as an ox-drawn coach, a fan, a fence are laid out in seasonal flowers that are delicately described in detail. It is also referred to as `goshodoki monyo' (goshodoki pattern).

The origin of a word (etymology)

Since the pattern mentioned above reminds us of Heian period literature, it can be determined to be named after Meiji period. Because of its name, it is often mistaken as Kimono that court noble ladies wore (as described in History), in fact it is not. However, in some books or magazines that describe traditional Japanese clothing, clothes worn by a court noble lady was described as `Goshodoki,' while clothes worn by a lady from Samurai society (original `Goshodoki') was described as `Edodoki-pattern'; thus, the definition of Goshodoki is still confusing.
(As for the difference between Kimono for a court noble lady and Kimono for a lady from Samurai society, refer to the section of `Social position shown in sleeve length.'


When a wardrobe system for ladies for Samurai society was established in the latter half of the Edo period, Gosyodoki was especially favored by goten jochu (palace maids) that held a high rank.
As previously prescribed, the education about Heian literature or Noh was required to select a pattern of Kimono; Gosyodoki was especially favored as `A thing to represent dignity of a lady from Samurai society.'
At that time, the main patterns were embroidered, and additional patterns were dyed by means of Yuzen (a dying technique), therefore, it wasn't available for common women who were not allowed to wear elaborate embroidered Kimono. Kimono favored by ladies from Samurai society at that time was said to be `Oyashiki fu' (Buke style).

The patterns of those Kimono were controlled under strict rules, ladies from Samurai society fully utilized their education and added some flavors of their own to the Kimono such as slightly changing the position of patterns, etc. This is because guessing which story was described as a theme in the patterns of the Kimono tested one's education. It became completely formalized after the end of Edo period.

After the feudal system, characteristic of the shogunate, collapsed through the Meiji Restoration, the impoverished bushi class sold their Kimono at pawn shops, and they became available around town. The term of `Gosyodoki', caused a lot of misunderstandings by common people who had come into contact with such Kimono during that time.

Nowadays, it is often used for furisode (a long sleeved type of kimono), tomesode, formal dress patterned only below the waistline worn by a married woman, and semi-formal kimono for women, due to its formality,

[Original Japanese]