Kone (also pronounced Koni) is the Japanese name given to an emperor's costume in the Tang style. A kind of ceremonial robe (worn in the imperial court), it is also called a Tenshi Go-raifuku (Imperial Prince's ceremonial robe). Until the Emperor Komyo, it was worn with the Benkan (an emperor's ceremonial crown) for accession ceremonies and so on. It is also called a Konben when it is worn together with the Benkan.
Kone is also called Konfuku, Benfuku or Tenshi-Go-raifuku.
Although the origin of Kone in Japan is unknown, it is believed to date at least as far back as the Nara period because it is written in "Shoku-Nihongi," which is the sequel to "Nihon Shoki" (Chronicles of Japan) that 'the Emperor wearing Benfuku for the first time showed up in the Daigokuden (Grand Palace) to receive New Year's greetings at about 10 o'clock on January 1, 732 A.D.'
Eight kinds of patterns--Sun, Moon, Seven Stars, Mountain, Fire, Dragon, Kachu (pheasant), and Soi (ritual article)--out of Konben 12-Sho (symbols) are attached to the red cloth of the costume. Each of the patterns resembles embroidery but is actually detachable.
Sun: Symbolizes 'enlightenment without selfishness.'
It is placed on the left shoulder and contains a crow drawn inside.
Moon: Symbolizes 'enlightenment without selfishness.'
It is placed on the right shoulder and contains a rabbit and a hoptoad drawn inside.
Seven Stars: Symbolizing 'enlightenment without selfishness.'
Triones are placed on the upper back part.
Mountain: Symbolizes pacification, the formation of clouds and the blessing of rain. It is placed on the front and back of the costume's main part.
Dragon: A spiritous thing of miraculous change and wonder
Large coiled dragons are placed on the front and back of each sleeve, and small dragons are placed on the front and back of the costume's main part.
Kachu (brightly colored bird): Represents a pheasant, as it has beautiful wings. Pheasants are placed on the front and back of the main part.
Soi: Tigers (courage) and monkeys (wisdom), which symbolize ritual articles as they are drawn on their surfaces. They are placed on the front and back of the lower main part.
Four kinds of patterns--Mo (algae), Funmai (powdered rice), Ono (ax) and Futsu (shape like 亜)--out of Konben 12-Sho are attached to the same red cloth as Osode.