Important Cultural PropertyKosode with Flowering Plants and Pine Bark Lozenges

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  • Kosode
  • Length: 139.5cm; Width at shoulders 125.0cm
  • Edo period/17th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • I甲367

The eleven horizontal bands with "pine-bark lozenge" edges on this kosode have been tie-dyed in repetitions of black, red, black, and white. Each band is densely filled with lozenges, weeping cherries, and other minute designs executed primarily in embroidery and gold foil, exemplifying the "background-less" kosode (jinashi kosode) style popular at the beginning of the Edo period. Kosode, such as this, with tiny patterns in embroidery and gold leaf applied over a ground that has been tie-dyed into sections of black, red, and while are known most commonly as Keicho kosode, named for the Keicho era (1596-1615) when they first gained popularity. The backgrounds of most extant Keicho kosode are divided into irregularly shaped sections with curvilinear borders; in contrast, this piece maintains the more classical geometric alternating-band composition popular in preceding periods. The wide body and narrow sleeves also represent an older style, suggesting that this example is an early Keicho kosode, probably made between the Keicho and Genna (1615-1724) eras.