The Kimono Gallery

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Item Details
Taisho period (1912-1926)
A silk kimono with an unusual pattern design and techniques, featuring a complex shibori of fan and 'tsuzumi' (hand drum) motifs. See detail images to view a close-up of the techniques used. The inner hakkake lining is of wool. A 2cm stain on the front lapel, and silk shattering in the inner lining. 51" from sleeve-end to sleeve-end x 59" height. The tsuzumi is a traditional shoulder drum used by the Japanese in music performances and theatre. 'Sensu' is the Japanese name referring to the folding fan. Both are used together in certain Kabuki and Noh play stage performances, and in earlier times, during the Heian classical period of a thousand years ago, by shirabyōshi court performances and Muromachi period Kusemai dances. Thus these two motifs on this kimono allude to the stage and theatre, and giving the wearer an aura of class, sophistication and worldliness. The artist and craftspeople involved in the creation of this kimono were elite: the subtlety of the meticulous lavender tie-dye contrasting against the bold yellow and red drum motifs is dramatic and effective. The drum motifs seem to have been created with a complex mix of techniques - localized double kasuri (ikat), shibori (tie dye, and supplementary three-dimensional wefts). The work would have likely involves several months of exacting labour under the direction of a master kimono artist of the day. The confidence, experimentation and wealth of the Taisho period are all reflected in this stunning kimono.
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