This cherry-colored silk wedding kimono (uchikake) is embroidered with flowers, cranes (tsuru), and butterflies scattered throughout the entire kimono in white, pale pink, chartreuse, gold, blue, and gray. Due to their long lives, cranes are a common symbol for weddings and marriages. The kimono has a padded hemline and is lined in white silk; the opening in the sleeves is also slightly padded.
The kimono is a Japanese traditional garment. Kimono, literally meaning a "thing to wear," are made of flat panels of cloth into T-shaped, straight-lined robes with long, wide sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body and secured by an obi (sash), which is then tied at the back, usually in a very elaborate way. Kimono are usually worn with traditional footwear (such as zori or geta) and with the split-toe socks called tabi.
There are many types of kimono for different occasions. One common type, traditionally worn by unmarried women, is the furisode, distinctive for its nearly floor-length sleeves. Today, kimono are usually worn on special occasions (such as weddings or tea ceremonies) or by a small proportion of older men and women on a daily basis. Kimono fabrics, typically silk, are frequently hand made and hand decorated, though modern kimono are available in less expensive, machine-made fabrics.
In Japanese art and culture, cranes (tsuru) have long been considered a national treasure. The Japanese regard cranes as a symbol of good fortune and longevity, because of their fabled life span of a thousand years. They also represents fidelity, as Japanese cranes are known to mate for life.