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Item Details
Taisho (period 1912-1926)
A remarkable rinzu silk kimono featuring all-shibori motifs of paulownia and a waterfall. There are embroidery highlights in some of the upper areas in front and back, as well as broad gold-metallic wide threads inserted in outline areas of some of the paulownia motifs. 49" from sleeve-end to sleeve-end x 61" height. The single mon (family crest in the upper backside is completely embroidered. This mon is a rare one for kimonos, as it represents the wheel of the ox-drawn carriage, and is based on the Heian-period classic, The Tale of Genji. The Japanese have traditionally had a love of waterfalls, and also of the paulownia tree and leaves. According to legend, the mythical phoenix , bird of immortality, alights only in the branches of the paulownia tree when it comes to earth. The paulownia is referred to as the "Princess Tree". An old tradition of Japanese families is to plant a Paulownia when a baby girl is born into the family. As the girl grows up and gets married the family cuts down the tree and creates a dresser for her wedding present. This would have been a very expensive kimono to create, especially the shibori tie-dye, which would have taken a several months of work by expert designers and craftspeople.
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