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DESCRIPTION: This is a rare and unique example of a Japanese
man’s “Nagajuban” or Under-Kimono.
The fine greige Silk has been handwoven and
hand painted by an extraordinary artist. The Nagajuban itself is a
remarkable illustration of how much artistic effort the wealthy and
noble individuals in Japanese society expected from their daily wear,
for this garment was nit intended for anyone in society to admire; but,
instead was solely intended for the pleasure of the individual in his
own home...an enormous expense lavished on oneself.
For a kimono design to incorporate the image of a horse, Uma, indicates that it belonged to an individual of very high social standing and wealth. Horses had been limited to the upper classes by the Tokugawa Shoguns who detailed exactly how and when they were to be used. In addition to battle, it would become one’s heavenly duty to ride a horse when one visited a Shinto Shrine. The famous Nikko Shrine still maintains its white horses. A white or black horse was most often used to lead the Shrine’s processions, and was believed to bring or end rainfall. In this same vein, horses were often given as prayer offerings to shrines. The wealthy gave meticulously groomed and luxuriously caparisoned horses as gifts, while the poor gave paintings of horses on wood or Ema. These can still be seen as valued works of art at many shrines in Japan today. By far, however, the greatest distinction of the horse was as the romantic symbol of the Samurai who dominated Japanese society during the time of the Tokugawas. It was the warrior class who perfected the art of horse back riding, combined with the sport of archery, which continues at famous festivals to this day.
It is obvious that this garment belonged to a man of high social standing and wealth as a Nagajuban was intended to be worn under another Kimono at home. An individual who could afford to hide such a magnificent Artwork was indeed blessed with abundance.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: Man's Under Kimono or Nagajuban
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Meiji Era, ca 1880s
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Hand woven heavy Silk
PRESENTATION: Dramatic art work to be wall hung or framed; or, in extraordinary circumstances, worn.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental United States.