Thursday, 27 August 2009

Landscape on Kimono - part 5

Before continuing around the walls, lets have a look at the centre display and the cabinets.

Uchikake (wedding robe), karaori (Chinese brocade weave), 1980s

Pine boughs, wisteria and chrysanthemum against an asanoha (hemp leaf pattern) background. Uchikake are worn as a trailing robe over a white kakeshita wedding kimono and coloured uchikake are the second worn during the wedding day, as an all white one is worn for the ceremony.

This is the heaviest of the uchikake on display. Like the others, it is ex rental. The design is almost identical to 17th century Noh costumes which were also woven with the karaori technique. Since I'm never likely to have a 17th century Noh atsuita robe, this makes a good alternative - all the weaving technique is there.

Uchikake (wedding robe), silk,1980s

Japanese palaces, plum blossoms, bamboo, pine, peony and chrysanthemum are depicted among the clouds.

Weight - 2.5kg!

Uchikake (wedding robe), tsumugi (spun) silk,1970s

Pine boughs and clouds are arranged against craggy mountains, with Chinese style palace buildings – clearly this is an interpretation of a Chinese scene. The clouds are filled in with yosōku designs (ancient patterns of the Heian Court).

Tsumugi, an informal, is an unusual choice for an uchikake and this is the only one I've seen made from tsumugi. It belongs to the same era as the roketsuzome tomesode shown in part 4. The landscape is rather wild and craggy, with the shape of the mountains slightly reminiscent of lightning! The Chinese palaces are outlined with kinkoma couching.

Fukuro (fold) obi, silk brocade, contemporary

A view of Mt Hakone is repeated along the length of the obi, woven to resemble an ukiyo-e print.

The "fringe" is the raw end of the obi, as it has been unpicked and the obi stiffener taken out.

Fukuro Nagoya obi, silk brocade, contemporary

Slightly shorter than a true fukuro obi, this is zentsu (all over patterned) with abstract mountains like the first furisode in this exhibition.

I think one of the reasons I like this abstract mountains motif is its possibilities for an applique design!

Nagoya obi (informal obi), silk brocade, contemporary

Both the maple leaves and the deer motifs are associated with autumn; the deer may also be a reference to the ancient Japanese capital Nara, noted for its deer park. Obi with designs on the “drum” section can only be tied in the otaiko (drum) style, with the large picture flat on the back of the obi.

Fukuro (fold) obi, hand painted silk lamé, contemporary

A classical Chinese landscape depicted in the style of a scroll painting. The artist’s signature is visible at the bottom of the obi.

lamé background gives a shimmering effect which is really beautiful - photos don't do it justice.

Nagoya obi (informal obi), tsumugi (spun) silk, contemporary

An abstract modern design of autumn forests. Tsumugi, spun made from the silk cocoon waste, is always informal, although it may be as expensive as formal kimono due to the amount of hand labour involved.

Tsumugi + retro + trees = perfect! The texture of the silk makes me think of a walk in an autumn woodland.

Nagoya obi (informal obi), handwoven tsuzureori (tapestry) tsumugi (spun) silk, 1950s

Trees in Art Deco style. It is informal, but would have been very expensive when new, due to the slow progress of handweaving tsuzureori.

I bought this from a Yahoo! Japan auction, along with an early 1960s omeshi kimono. The trees remind me of several illustrations by Kay Nielsen. It is a great example of how Japanese design was influenced by Art Deco which in turn was influenced by Japanese designs.... ideas going full circle.

Fukuro (fold) obi, silk brocade, 1980s

A modern design of winter trees, appropriate for late November and early December only.

The trees are depicted in a modern style similar to those on the red fukuro obi hung on the wall (see part 4).

Nagoya obi (informal obi), handwoven tsuzureori (tapestry) tsumugi (spun) silk, 1980s

The motif seems to be a European castle and mountains. It is informal, but would have been very expensive when new, due to the slow progress of handweaving tsuzureori.

The last display case also contained some kimono fabric manufacturers' catalogues from the 1960s.

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