Important Cultural PropertySurihaku (Nō costume)—design of decorated shikishi and grape pattern on violet fabric

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  • 1 suit
  • L 103.9 yuki 48.2
  • Azuchi-Momoyama period/16th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • I-3248

Surihaku is a technique where glue is applied on the ground by free hand or by using a template with openwork pattern, gold and silver leaf is pasted on top, and excessive leaf is wiped away with a brush or similar to show a pattern. In general, this technique is used when repeating simple unit patterns. In this work, however, several kinds of templates are skillfully used in different ways. All the grapevines, in particular, are expressed freely and lightly; it is a possibility that templates were not used for this part, but glue was applied directly by hand.
This suit can be ranked among the highest grade of the existing surihaku works because, although it is a costume for a child's role player in Nô plays, the techniques used are superb and the design is magnificent and elegant.