Important Cultural PropertyKosode (kimono with small wrist openings), with geometric patterns of plants, crane and turtle on black and red figured satin

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  • 1 suit
  • L137.0 yuki61.9
  • Edo period/17th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • I-4092

 This is a kosode (kimono with small wrist openings) made of figured satin with long designs, a characteristic of figured satin fabrics made in China. The fabric is dyed black and the patterns are represented by embroidery, tie-dyeing and gold/silver leaf pasting. Geometric designs, such as diagonal, zigzag, check and hexagonal patterns, are created via a tie-dye technique and placed from the shoulders to the bottom of the kimono while an embroidered flower arabesque pattern created with red, white, yellow, greenish yellow and yellow-green silk threads adds color to the kosode. On the embroidered cherry blossom pattern that overflows from geometric patterns, Chinese twisted yarn is added via komanui (a technique to place thick yarn with a thread). Inside the circles that are spread between other patterns, diamond, wave, linked rings and net patterns and a motif of long-tailed cocks are elaborately embroidered. On the other hand, the design embroidered from the bottom of the kimono to the waist unfolds an elegant world filled with literary grace and good omen, where a cart with one wheel floats on the water, a raft flows leisurely and cranes and turtles play in a pine grove. While most of it has faded away, a haze pattern created with gold leaf used to cover the black ground where no embroidery or tie-dye patterns were applied. This design, where patterns fill every space of the kimono, was called "jinashi (ground fabric with no blank space)." Having a jinashi kosode as a formal outfit was a must among women in the early Edo period.