The Kimono Gallery

Select vintage and antique Kimonos

Item Details
Late Taisho to early Showa (1920-1940)
An unlined ro sheer summer silk kimono featuring images of carp on a black background. 49" from sleeve-end to sleeve-end x 58" height. The carp (koi) when used on a woman's garment such as this example is emblematic of faithfulness in marriage and general good fortune. The arched shape of the carp on this kimono are indicative of "araiso" carp. The araiso carp leaps and dances in torrential rivers and tries to climb waterfalls, and so is also an auspicious symbol of perseverance and ultimate success in life. The design and artwork on this kimono is unusual, rare and striking: each carp is hand-drawn, hand-shaded and painted, so each is unique in small details. As can be seen very faintly on the main gallery image, on the black background has undulating damask patterns intended to represent the river of water. The austere aesthetics of this kimono conforms to a Japanese aesthetic called "iki", in which the Japanese artist pursues the ideal of simplicity and refinement, with the aim of eliminating as much as possible of the superfluous and to manifest beauty in what remained.
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