Important Cultural PropertyKosode (kimono with small wrist openings) Young pine, small flower, deer, and maple leaf design on parti-colored figured satin ground

Save Image

image 全画面表示


  • Satin-weave silk
  • Edo period, 17th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • I-2775

  This kosode (kimono with narrow sleeve openings) is dyed with large wedge shapes, and is composed of four stylistic components: young pine trees representing the New Year, small flowers representing spring, a deer and autumn leaves representing autumn, and a kanoko shibori (tie-dyeing) design. The finer kanoko shibori design dyed with pale blue-green and black is called keshi kanoko. The embroidery is mainly flat, and knots with twisted gold threads are applied all over to add a shining effect. The "deer and autumn leaves" design decorated with embroidery is reminiscent of the ancient waka poem, "Autumn at its saddest — / Rustling through the leaves / and moving on alone / deep into the mountains, / I hear a lonely stag belling for his doe.
  The wife of Yamaguchi Morimasa, a high-ranking samurai vassal of the Oda Clan, is said to have worn this kimono in the Tenmon era (1532–55). However, distinctive features such as the wedge-shaped composition created by dyeing, the subdued colors, and the fine patterns of embroidery are traits typical of samurai-class women's attire in the early Edo period (1603–1868).
 The design, which utilizes rinzu (satin damask) imported from China and is covered with embroidery and kanoko shibori, was popular in the early Edo period. The main dyeing and weaving techniques of this era were embroidery, surihaku (stencil-pasted metallic foil), and kanoko shibori. These techniques were used alone or in combination to create a pattern that would cover the surface. Therefore, it is called jinashi, meaning no open spaces. Dark red was preferred as the base color and made by dyeing black on top of red. This specific type of jinashi kosode robe was popular around the Genna (1615–1624) and Kan’ei (1624–1644) eras.