Important Cultural PropertyKosode (Garment with small wrist openings), Design of Mandarin Ducks and Waves on Black Figured Satin)

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  • 1 piece
  • Length: 161.0, Sleeve & Shoulder Width: 63.6
  • Edo era, 17th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • I-2924

The pattern flows from the left shoulder to the right shoulder and from the waist to the hem in an arc, which was a popular pattern in late 17th century (the Manji era, 1658-1661 through the Kambun era, 1661-1673). As the pattern often appeared in the fashion book "Kosode Moyô Hinagata-bon (Pattern Sample Book for Short Sleeved Kimono, woodblock printed book)" published in 1666 (the 6th year of the Kambun era), it is commonly known as "Kambun Kosode." The representative work of this pattern is this Kosode.

Patterned silk is dyed with brownish black, achieved by dyeing red with black. The pattern is created with Suribitta (a stenciled dotted design of the shibori technique) or Komanui (a stitching technique with a thick thread) with golden threads and embroidered with silk threads of yellow-green, red or blue. Suribitta is a pattern made by stencil-dying from Kanoko-shibori (literally "fawn spot tie-dying") onto a separate fabric, but in order to resemble true tie-dying, the Uchidashi Kanoko pattern is used to emboss each and every part of the Kanoko pattern. As full Kanoko-shibori had been banned by "Tenna-no-Kinrei" (authority interdiction), a method where people could create the Kanoko-shibori effect more simply by using pattern papers was devised. At first glance, a pattern with playful mandarin ducks and bold tsunami waves can be seen. However, when one looks closely, the Aboshi motif (a pattern of fishnets hanging by the seashore to dry) can also be seen, with the outer edge showing green leaves growing in places and bamboo sprouts freely arising. Bamboo sprouts and mandarin ducks are two of the Kissho-moyo (blissful motifs) where the former represents growth and the latter represents a happy couple. Giving a varied expression depending on one's interpretation of the peaceful waterside scenery, this work combines a playful touch and overflows with the free and cheerful atmosphere of Machikata (`town' in the Edo era).