Korozen no Goho (黄櫨染御袍) (黄櫨染御袍)

Korozen no goho is a word in the glossary of Japanese clothes meaning an upper garment which constitutes the traditional formal court dress worn by an emperor at a formal ceremony. The name is derived from the color in which the fabric is dyed, and 'korozen' is yellow mixed with red, being close to ocher of today.


This garment was decided on by an Imperial edict of the Emperor Saga in 820.

This garment has its origin in the Chinese shaoho. It is presumed that the upper garment which emperors used to wear before the Emperor Saga was white. Incidentally, in the Sui Dynasty and after in China, yellow had been a noble color to be used for a military uniform (which was equivalent to the everyday clothes in the Tang Dynasty, and to the Japanese clothes 'chofuku' worn by officials when attending Court, forming the base for 'sokutai' which is the traditional formal Court dress) and in the Tang Dynasty, shaoho was designated as solely for an emperor's use.

Korozen was called 'absolutely forbidden color' - a color that no one but an emperor could use. It symbolizes the color of the midday sun. This Korozen no goho garment has a hakogata-mon (rectangular-shaped pattern) of paulownia, bamboo, a phoenix and a kylin.

At the present time still, it is used in the occasions such as the Ceremony of the Seiden State Hall, which is the most important of the Enthronement Ceremonies and a festival of the Imperial Court called Shihohai (a Shinto ceremony held on New Year's Day in which the Emperor pays respect to the deities in all quarters).

[Original Japanese]