None of these photos portray accurately the subtle coloring and natural motif of this very complex silk Obi…designs from the environment are very prominent and valued in old Japan.
This is an exquisite example of a hand woven “Maru” Obi, the most formal and elaborate of the Obi woven with only one seam. It is a very lustrous, finely woven Silk Obi that has a wonderful sheen that, when turned in different directions and in different light, will appear to change color. This is a sign of a very high quality Obi. The colors are from natural dyes and are the more traditional colors of ancient Japan. A continuous small pattern such as this is referred to in Japan as “Meiji Jimon.” The small Butterfly (“Cho”) flying among the Chrysanthemum (“Kiku”) and Grape (“Budo”) leaves is an complex design that could only have been created by a Master Weaver. Each individual element of the design, including the leaves of the Chrysanthemum, are outlined in lighter Silk threads adding subtle detailing to this intricate pattern.
The Chrysanthemum was originally introduced to Japan from China due to its medicinal qualities. By the 13th Century, it had become a symbol of the Imperial Family. The scattered Grape leaves were another import from China that only began to appear in artwork with the arrival of Buddhism. Thus, a sophisticated woman of high status would have worn this Obi. By adding the Butterfly, a symbol of awakening manhood and marital devotion; coupled with the muted coloration of this wonderful Obi, it would further indicate that the Japanese woman was married; in all probability, a woman associated with the Imperial Court who was witnessing the transition of her son into adulthood. Older, married women were not to draw attention to themselves and, typically, wore more somber colors and designs.
The intricacy of the design attests to the artistry of the weaver, and the wealth and status of the wearer. The overall effect of this Obi is one of understated wealth and beauty. This luxurious, hand-woven “Maru” Obi (Japanese Woman’s sash or belt) was the ultimate accessory for the Kimono.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.