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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 hand woven of 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 Iris or Kakitsubata. The Iris transformed from a decorative item on clothing and carriages of the nobility into an important family crest. It evolved from the famous Iris Festival during Heian times to be adopted by both court and warrior circles. This Festival was celebrated in May as the Iris was then at its most fragrant and many believed the scent would drive off evil spirits. It was made most famous by the magnificent folding screens painted by Ogata Korin in the early1700s.
What makes the Haori for men so intriguing is the fact that the main source of decoration is on the inside back lining panel of the garment. To include such artistic decoration on an inner lining reflected the idea that real luxury was found in hidden places, and did not consist of overt displays. This concept was incorporated into what the Japanese called "Iki," fashionable in the late Edo/Early Meiji Eras. This concept reflected the wearers exquisite sense of beauty without betraying one's sense of style to the outside world,
The Master Weaver who created the inner panel would incorporate the items most important to the individual wearer. In this instance, that included the locale and surroundings of the individual as well as his attachment to the Tea Ceremony and relationship to the Emperor's Family as implied by the centering of the group of Chrysanthemums, the flower of the Imperial Family. The finer the skill of the Master Weaver, the finer the design that appears within the Haori. Only a man of great wealth and very high status within Court Society of old Japan would have been able to wear such a magnificent garment. A work of art that remained a treasured heirloom for many years.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: Formal Man's Haori or Topcoat
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Mid Meiji Era, ca 1880s
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Handwoven, satin silk garment with an intricate hand woven design encompassing a marvelous and varied landscape in excellent condition.
PRESENTATION: To hang 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 United States.