This very old, magnificently hand painted and embroidered Formal Silk Kimono obviously belonged to an individual of high social standing, as the intricate weaving, hand painting, and pure gold threads of the embroidery are exquisite in their detailing. The background pattern has been hand woven to add depth and texture, in a “Meiji jimon” flower motif, a very small pattern that has been repeated over and over again. It was then hand painted using the “Rice Past Resist” or “”Tsutsugaki” technique that flourished from the Edo to Meiji Eras. This technique required that each individual color was first painted out in rice paste in order to be applied. This process was particularly tedious and time consuming. The design was then embroidered in pure gold and silk threads that were made entirely by hand by first painting a layer of liquid gold on thin handmade rice paper, and then wrapping it around several threads of silk. Because of its delicacy, it could not be sewn into the fabric; but was, instead, laid on top of the fabric “Couched,” or hand stitched to it
This marvelous design of flying Crane or “Tsuru,” the elaborately decorated structural elements, and the glorious stylized waves tell a special story, while at the same time presenting a breathtaking panorama. This Kimono powerfully portrays the Manchurian Crane (“Tsuru”) on their voyage to the legendary island of Horaisan, the Island of Everlasting Life. As they make their way back to the Island, these magnificent Crane must first cross the turbulent waters of Passion and Greed. Adding to this propitious message are the Pine (“Matsu”), Plum Blossoms (“Ume”), and the turbulent waves (“Nami”) of the ocean bearing white caps. Adding the Bamboo (“Take”) to the Plum and the Pine and the result is often referred to as the Three Friends of Winter because they symbolize strength amidst adversity, and grow even in the bitterest cold. To add to this hopeful message, the Pine also represents longevity and perseverance, while the Crane stand for good fortune.
The Family Crest (“Mon”) appears 5 times on the shoulders and back of the garment and indicates that it was to be worn for formal occasions. The “Yahazu” or Arrow Notch, also referred to as “the way of the warrior,” is a powerful motif which has been described in Japanese literature as representative of the Samurai. In feudal times, it also contained a hidden cross which was a forbidden symbol for Christianity. It has been enclosed in a bold white circle, “Wa,” making this Mon even more distinctive.
This is a very atypical formal Boys Kimono in that it is not garish or bright, but soft and subdued; an extraordinary garment that could only have been worn by a member of a wealthy and noble family. It is a valued heirloom.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.