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DESCRIPTION: This is an excellent example of a Japanese Man's "Haori" or formal topcoat. It is entirely handmade, totally reversible, and has represented the height of formal ware for Japanese men for centuries. The outer layer of the garment is a high quality, solid black Satin Silk with the exception of 5 white circles within which a pictorial symbol of the family crest or "Mon" has been painted. The crest is that of the Melon or "Mokko," which is often associated with gourds. It originated in court costumes in China and arrived in Japan in the 6th century where it was officially used on screen shielding important persons. This symbol is enclosed by a version of the China Flower.
What makes the Haori for men so intriguing is the fact that the main source of decoration is on the inside of the garment (shown left), or the lining. The inner back panel of this spectacular Haori has been hand painted, using natural dyes, in the labor intensive "Rice Paste Resist" technique. The artwork centers on individual squares within which appear Bishimon (or a Kabuki character playing this role) who was canonized in 753 as the Hindu "God of Riches," a pagoda which often appears in Bishimon's hand along with his scepter, an open book, and the National Theatre. Overlying these images is a large white gourd or "Hyotan" from which good fortune (as well as sake) spill forth. Together, this indicates that only a man of great wealth and status who maintained an interest in the theatre would have worn this Haori.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: Formal Man's Haori or Topcoat
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Mid Meiji Era (1868 - 1912)
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Lustrous hand woven Silk Haori hand painted in the Rice Paste Resist technique which requires that each individual color is painted in separately. After each color the fabric is soaked numerous times to remove the paste, before applying the next color. In excellent condition.
PRESENTATION: To hand as a display or work of art, or to wear (perhaps with the inside panel on the outside) for a very formal or elegant occasion.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.