02.Red silk crepe kimono pattered with Ho-oh (East Asian phoenix), Paulownias and chrysanthemums (from the late 1920s) - Ho-oh
A Ho-oh (East Asian phoenix) and a regular phoenix are often considered as the same mythological bird, yet the two are in fact different imaginary creatures.
The Ho-oh is a sacred bird from ancient China. The bird with five-colored feathers has the forehead of a mythological beast called Rin, the hindquarters of a deer, the neck of a snake, the tail of a fish, the back of a tortoise, the chin of a swallow, and the beak of a rooster. It is believed to appear in the world to mark the beginning of a new era and the reign of a heaven-sent emperor.
A phoenix, on the other hand, is a mythological bird from Ancient Egypt. It is believed to live in the Arabian desert and to fly into flames, before rising from the ashes as a young bird. It is thereby called a Fushi-cho (immortal bird) in Japanese.
The red in this kimono reminds us of flames. Ho in Ho-oh means the spirit of fire, and oh means male.
I have heard that my grandmother particularly liked this kimono and wore it often. The Ho-ohs on either sleeve look wise and magnificent, while the soft look in their eyes is endearing.