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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 lighter weight, 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 screens 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 Haori has been hand painted, using natural variants of black dyes, in the labor intensive "Rice Paste Resist" method accomplished in the Sumie technique. The artwork centers on a rural winter snow scene wherein a peasant is seen carrying thatch away from a cottage. What appears to be the Sun peaking over the top of the mountain is, in actuality, the reflection of the Mon imprinted on t he outside of the garment showing through to the inside of the very sheer Silk lining. To have accomplished an intricate naturalistic ink painting on such a gauze-like, handwoven Silk is quite incredible. Although the inner winter scene suggests that this garment would have been worn during that season, the lightness of the exterior Silk indicates that it would have been worn in comfortable settings during that time.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: Man's Formal Haori or Topcoat
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Late Meiji Era (1868 - 1911)
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Beautifully hand woven Silk 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.