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Topic: costumes

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2013
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2013
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Fencing Doublet

Fencing Doublet

This doublet is a rare example of sixteenth-century male clothing, very little of which has survived. The cut of the doublet, particularly the protruding "peascod" waist, is typical of fashionable costume of th... more

Noh robe (Nuihaku) with Design of Butterflies and Miscanthus Grass in Mist

Noh robe (Nuihaku) with Design of Butterflies and Miscanthus Grass in ...

In China, the butterfly is an ancient theme, making a celebrated appearance in the philosophical text the Zhuangzi (in which Zhuang Zhou dreams he is a butterfly and, upon waking, does not know whether he had d... more

Surcoat (Jinbaori)

Surcoat (Jinbaori)

Samurai jinbaori were frequently made from expensive and flamboyant imported textiles like this Chinese silk velvet, which has a reddish pile pattern on a once vivid yellow background. The European-style “pomeg... more

Robe (Kosode) with Shells and Sea Grasses

Robe (Kosode) with Shells and Sea Grasses

This sumptuous robe is among the earliest extant kosode (garment with small sleeve openings). The natural scenery of Japan’s coast, with its beaches strewn with shells and sea grass, inspired the delicate embro... more

Noh Robe

Noh Robe

Edo period (1615–1868)

Kosode Robe with Roosters and Hens

Kosode Robe with Roosters and Hens

This cheerful robe layers high and low felicitous motifs from the avian realm. The roosters, hens, and chicks present a sweet barnyard vision of domestic bliss, and the woven ground features a classical pattern... more

Kosode

Kosode

Edo period (1615–1868)

Man's Formal Jacket (Haori)

Man's Formal Jacket (Haori)

By the early twentieth century, the focal point of stylish men’s clothing had turned inward, and the lining of a haori, a formal outer jacket worn over a kimono, often boasted eye-catching designs. On this exam... more

Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Mount Hōrai

Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Mount Hōrai

The ancient Chinese legend of Penglai, a spiritual mountain of eternal life located in the eastern seas, lives on in this late-Edo-period robe. In Japan, the fantasy island, Mount Hōrai, became stylized as a ga... more

Summer Kimono

Summer Kimono

Echigo (present-day Niigata Prefecture) has long produced high quality ramie (choma) cloth, which was used by the Edo period (1615–1868) for the summer clothing of the upper classes. This early-twentieth-centur... more

Jacket (suo) and trousers (nagabakama)

Jacket (suo) and trousers (nagabakama)

One type of suit worn by samurai is made up of a large-sleeved jacket (suo) with matching long trousers (nagabakama) decorated with a family crest (mon). Each sleeve of the jacket consists of two widths of clot... more

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Autumn Flowers and Grasses

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Autumn Flowers and Grasses

Karaori, literally "Chinese Weave," is a stiff brocade technique that employs a uniform direction of weft in which long stitches of glossed silk threads are floated over an unglossed silk twill ground, while fo... more

Kyōgen Costume: Jacket (Suō) with Design of Lotuses

Kyōgen Costume: Jacket (Suō) with Design of Lotuses

This jacket (suō), with its field of graphically rendered lotuses, would be worn with matching long trousers in kyōgen plays for the role of a samurai lord. Kyōgen is a comic form of Japanese theater, performed... more

Kosode with Design of Spring Rice Fields

Kosode with Design of Spring Rice Fields

The rhythmic rural landscape on this kosode features newly planted rice fields and the pathways between them, executed in white paste-resisted lines on a dark blue background. Baskets with ink-painted details d... more

Kosode

Kosode

Perhaps even more astounding than the miniscule size of the pattern on this kosode is the evenness of execution. The robe features a dense pattern of cherry blossoms in dotted outline; they surround groups of b... more

Kimono with Blossoming Plum Tree

Kimono with Blossoming Plum Tree

Paste-resist dyeing, along with skillful use of a shading technique, finely renders the gradual progression from white to dark gray on this garment. Early Meiji period kimonos often have gray or black grounds a... more

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Tortoise Shell Pattern and Crane Lozenges

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Tortoise Shell Pattern and Crane Lozenges

The auspicious combination of crane and tortoise motifs has long been a staple of Japanese decoration. Here it is elegantly stylized in lozenge-shaped confronting pairs of cranes on a ground motif of interlocki... more

Jimbaori with shokko diaper pattern of dragons, phoenix birds, and stylized "Chinese flowers"

Jimbaori with shokko diaper pattern of dragons, phoenix birds, and sty...

The jimbaori is a sleeveless short coat that was worn over armor in Held campaigns by the Japanese military elite, beginning in the second half of the sixteenth century. The center slit in the back allowed for ... more

Over Robe (Uchikake) with Fans and Flowers

Over Robe (Uchikake) with Fans and Flowers

High-ranking samurai women wore luxurious uchikake like this one in the late Edo period. The distinguishing characteristics of this type of robe are color and pattern. Usually arrayed on a red or white ground, ... more

Noh Costume (Chōken) with Wisteria, Waves, and Purple Bands

Noh Costume (Chōken) with Wisteria, Waves, and Purple Bands

Late spring brings the fragrance and delicate blossoms of cascading wisteria, celebrated in Japanese poetry and frequently seen as a pattern on Noh costumes. The ornamentation of this chōken dancing cloak is es... more

Kosode with a Paragon of Filial Piety

Kosode with a Paragon of Filial Piety

In the late Edo period, warrior-class women often wore robes ornamented with Japanese or Chinese classical or literary themes. Embedded in the decoration of this robe—a winter landscape with plum blossoms and c... more

Noh Costume (Kariginu) with Geometric Pattern

Noh Costume (Kariginu) with Geometric Pattern

This robe's distinctive shokkō pattern of linked hexagons and squares is traditionally linked to the title role of the sacred old man in the earliest Noh play, Okina. The dances that make up this play grew out ... more

Fireman's jacket, plastron and sash

Fireman's jacket, plastron and sash

In the course of the Edo period, the commoners' fire brigades took on more and more of the responsibility and expense of fighting the fires that all too often turned Edo into an inferno. The samurai firefighter... more

Noh Costume (Atsuita) with Clouds and Hexagons

Noh Costume (Atsuita) with Clouds and Hexagons

Characteristic of the type of Noh robe known as atsuita, used for male roles, is this plain-weave robe with a bold supplementary weft pattern of scattered clouds over clusters of hexagons enclosing a stylized b... more

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Bamboo and Young Pines on Bands of Red and White

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Bamboo and Young Pines on Bands of ...

This resplendent Noh costume presents a wealth of auspicious symbolism on a background of horizontal bands. Green and gold pine and bamboo flourish on the wintry white bands, and continuous golden patterns of h... more

Five Figures in Fantastic Costumes with Two Dogs

Five Figures in Fantastic Costumes with Two Dogs

Salvator Rosa (Italian, Arenella (Naples) 1615–1673 Rome)

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Young Pines and Snow-Covered Bamboo on a Red Ground

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Young Pines and Snow-Covered Bamboo...

Green in the depth of winter, pine and bamboo are emblematic of that season and of long life. Together with the plum (not rendered here but perhaps suggested by the deep red color of the robe), these plants tra... more

Phoenix Hat

Phoenix Hat

The phoenix hat is worn in the Manzairaku, an opening dance that sets the auspicious tone of a gagaku performance. Edo period (1615–1868)

Noh Costume (Surihaku) with Water, Water Plants, and Leaves

Noh Costume (Surihaku) with Water, Water Plants, and Leaves

Noh robes patterned with metallic leaf are called surihaku, a term also used for the textiles from which they are made. For this robe, the surihaku textile was decorated by applying paste through stencils, pla... more

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Court Carriages and Cherry Blossoms

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Court Carriages and Cherry Blossoms

This Noh costume has unusually large pictorial motifs of courtly carriages, dandelions, and cherry blossoms. During the Heian period (794–1185), carriages were the vehicles of the aristocracy and figured in man... more

Kimono with Checked Pattern

Kimono with Checked Pattern

This informal women's kimono was formerly in the collection of Edward C. Moore (1827–1891), head designer at Tiffany & Co. from 1868 until his death in 1891. Keenly interested in exotic cultures, Moore collecte... more

Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Chrysanthemum and Wisteria Bouquets

Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Chrysanthemum and Wisteria Bouquets

Luxurious outer robes like this one were worn by high-ranking samurai women in the late Edo period. By the 1870s, however, some of these garments had found their way into the wardrobes of Western women or had b... more

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Chrysanthemums and Waves

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Chrysanthemums and Waves

Bold, golden waves gleam among large chrysanthemum plants of various types in the decoration of this Noh costume. The combination of water with chrysanthemums is suggestive of a mythical Chinese river that beca... more

Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Scenes of Filial Piety

Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Scenes of Filial Piety

In the second half of the Edo period, warrior-class women often wore robes with East Asian auspicious, literary, or didactic themes integrated into landscape designs. Embedded in the decoration of this robe—a w... more

Obi with “Whose Sleeves?” (Tagasode) Pattern

Obi with “Whose Sleeves?” (Tagasode) Pattern

A masterpiece of complex brocade weaving, this brightly colored obi, or sash, has a repeat pattern of kosode hung from silken cords. It evokes the traditional Tagasode (or "whose sleeves?") screen paintings of ... more

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Scattered Crests

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Scattered Crests

There are over twenty different crests of varying size on this robe. Some of the designs have Buddhist significance, such as the manji (reverse swastika) and the circular “wheels of Buddhist law.” Others have a... more

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Pattern of Cypress Fans and Yūgao Blossoms

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Pattern of Cypress Fans and Yūgao Blossoms

This pattern of open cypress fans and blossoms from a yūgao gourd vine unmistakably evokes an episode from chapter 4 of The Tale of Genji—Prince Genji’s tragic affair with a mysterious young woman who responds ... more

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Millet and Nandina Berries on a Background of Pine Branches and Zither Bridges

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Millet and Nandina Berries on a Background ...

A nuihaku is a pliant, full-length costume for the Noh theater usually worn by actors playing the roles of women or young men. The term nuihaku is a compound word made up of two textile techniques: embroidery (... more

Kosode with Scenes from Nō Plays

Kosode with Scenes from Nō Plays

In the late Edo period, kosode (“small-sleeved” robes) with this type of decorative scheme—dense landscape patterns accompanied by scenes alluding to traditional Japanese literature—conveyed an aristocratic fla... more

Kosode

Kosode

Edo period (1615–1868)

Woman's Overrobe (Uchikake) with Books and Mandarin Orange Branches

Woman's Overrobe (Uchikake) with Books and Mandarin Orange Branches

Books with varying decorative covers appear amid the colorful fruit and flowers on the mandarin orange branches of this outer robe (uchikake). The presence of books reflects the rise in publishing and literacy ... more

Unlined Kosode (Hitoe) with Grasses and Dewdrops

Unlined Kosode (Hitoe) with Grasses and Dewdrops

This elegant summer robe features a cooling design of grasses and drops of dew. The large circles reserved in white contain lightly painted peony crest patterns; however, from afar, the peony designs are not vi... more

Kosode

Kosode

Edo period (1615–1868)

Noh Robe

Noh Robe

Edo period (1615–1868)

Noh Costume (Chōken) with Paulownia

Noh Costume (Chōken) with Paulownia

The paulownia (kiri), with its large leaves and purple flowers, figures in the literature and arts of Japan. In the early eleventh-century Japanese classic the Tale of Genji, the protagonist's mother, Kiritsubo... more

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Autumn Grasses

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Autumn Grasses

This Noh costume features a delicate pattern of autumn grasses-wild pinks, chrysanthemums, bush clover, Chinese bellflowers, and miscanthus grass-on a deep red ground. In the Noh play Aoi no ue, based on an epi... more

Noh Costume (Chōken) with Water Plants and Mulberry Leaves

Noh Costume (Chōken) with Water Plants and Mulberry Leaves

An outer robe worn primarily for dances by Noh actors in female roles, the chōken is often made of silk gauze delicately patterned in metallic thread. Here, as in many chōken, there are two different patterns. ... more

Noh Costume

Noh Costume

Edo period (1615–1868)

Buddhist Priest's Robe (Kesa) with Pattern of Lotus Petals on Water

Buddhist Priest's Robe (Kesa) with Pattern of Lotus Petals on Water

The lotus is a Buddhist symbol of purity and perfection because it grows out of mud but is not defiled. The pattern of lotus petals on water is found at least as early as the late Heian period and is seen, for ... more

Buddhist Priest's Vestment made from a Chinese Robe

Buddhist Priest's Vestment made from a Chinese Robe

This large rectangular patchwork is a Japanese kesa, or Buddhist priest's vestment, that was made from a Chinese court robe with its characteristic pattern of dragons. Dragon robes were rare and valued in Japan... more

Robe (Kosode) with Mandarin Orange Tree and Auspicious Characters

Robe (Kosode) with Mandarin Orange Tree and Auspicious Characters

An auspicious mandarin orange tree (tachibana) bearing fruit and flowers rises from the back hem of this narrow-sleeved robe (kosode). The sleeves and upper body of the robe are embellished with characters rich... more

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Books and Nandina Branches

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Books and Nandina Branches

On this robe, scattered books decorated with seasonal motifs and poetic patterns evoke the aristocratic world of the Heian period (794–1185) and literary masterpieces such as The Tale of Genji. At the same time... more

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Ivy, Incense Wrappers, and Bamboo Blinds

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Ivy, Incense Wrappers, and Bamboo Blinds

Garments decorated with nuihaku, a technique combining embroidery and applied metallic leaf, were first made in the late fifteenth century. The technique became extremely popular on women’s kosode (garment with... more

Kyōgen Overvest (kataginu) with Japanese Lobster

Kyōgen Overvest (kataginu) with Japanese Lobster

Sometimes called "the old man of the sea" because of its bent back, the Japanese lobster (ise-ebi or kamakuraebi) is a symbol of longevity. Here it appears on the back of a vest worn for theatrical performances... more

Kosode with Design of Pines and Interlocking Squares

Kosode with Design of Pines and Interlocking Squares

This garment's design juxtaposes interlocking squares with gently diagonal passages of pines, in their conventionalized cloudlike form. The entire pattern was rendered in a resist-dyeing technique called kanoko... more

Over Robe (Uchikake) with Long-Tailed Birds in a Landscape

Over Robe (Uchikake) with Long-Tailed Birds in a Landscape

Birds with long tails inhabit a bright landscape of waterfalls, rocks, pine trees, and cherry blossoms. Resembling auspicious motifs frequently used in China, the birds have the vivid color of pheasants and the... more

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Pattern of Fans Floating on Water

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Pattern of Fans Floating on Water

The layering of patterns and techniques is particularly complex in this Noh costume. The water pattern woven in gold, known as Kanze mizu ("Kanze water") because of its association with the Kanze school of Noh ... more

Noh Costume (Surihaku) with Chinese Bellflowers

Noh Costume (Surihaku) with Chinese Bellflowers

Blooming in the middle of the eighth lunar month, the Chinese bellflower (kikyō), with its star-shaped blossoms, is celebrated as one of the seven autumn grasses. The execution of the simple floral motif on thi... more

Robe

Robe

Edo period (1615–1868)

Overrobe (Uchikake) with Bamboo

Overrobe (Uchikake) with Bamboo

This rare uchikake is the work of Gion Nankai, a well-known poet and artist of the early Nanga movement. Bamboo, vividly painted here in light and dark ink and enhanced with a mist of gold powder, was a favored... more

Noh Costume

Noh Costume

Edo period (1615–1868)

Unlined Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Landscape and Poem

Unlined Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Landscape and Poem

This light, unlined robe (hito-e) is designed for summer. On a blue background, flowers and plants of the four seasons appear in landscape settings. Spring flowers are represented along the hem; above them we s... more

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Cherry Blossoms and Fretwork

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Cherry Blossoms and Fretwork

An intense chromatic effect is achieved in this robe, with its cherry blossoms in a range of colors scattered over bands of red and green. Fallen within moments after their full flowering, the blossoms poignant... more

Noh Robe (Nuihaku) with Design of Butterflies, Chrysanthemums, Maple Leaves, and Miscanthus Grass

Noh Robe (Nuihaku) with Design of Butterflies, Chrysanthemums, Maple L...

The butterfly motif came into its own in China during the Tang dynasty (618-906), and several examples of decorative arts of the Tang bearing this pattern were preserved in the eighth-century Shôsôin imperial r... more

The twelve months represented by Lilliputian figures

The twelve months represented by Lilliputian figures

Scene in January, showing couple keeping warm in winter clothing; and scene in February, showing couple, in masquerades, holding hands. Each scene framed by elaborate ornamental and pictorial borders. Forms par... more

[Costumes of Chile]

[Costumes of Chile]

Drawing shows six Chilean clothing styles identified as: 1. costume du peuple; 2. costume de campagne; 3. Indien manœuvre; 4. costume d'èglise; 5. costume de promenade; and 6. officier de hussards.

Three Actors in Beautiful Costumes Performing a Religious Dance

Three Actors in Beautiful Costumes Performing a Religious Dance

Katsukawa Shunsen (Japanese, 1762–ca.1830) Edo period (1615–1868)

Two Actors Dressed in Ceremonial Costumes

Two Actors Dressed in Ceremonial Costumes

Katsukawa Shunkō (Japanese, 1743–1812) Edo period (1615–1868)

Costume Armor and Sword in the Classical Style

Costume Armor and Sword in the Classical Style

Pageants in pseudoclassical dress were popular in Europe from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century. An elaborate costume of the kind displayed here may have been worn for a theatrical performance or a c... more

Costume Armor in the Classical Style

Costume Armor in the Classical Style

Pageants in pseudoclassical dress were popular in Europe from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century. An elaborate costume of the kind displayed here may have been worn for a theatrical performance or a c... more

Daikagura

Daikagura

Print shows actors in lion costume dancing in front of women and children gathered at a window, and children and adults outside the building.

Shishi

Shishi

Print shows four actors carrying a lion costume, fans, and a lantern.

Cape

Cape

Japanese kappa were originally adapted from the capes worn by Portuguese missionary priests in the sixteenth century. (The Japanese word for priest is bozu.) Although at first capes were worn only by high-ranki... more

Jacket with Dragon and Mount Fuji

Jacket with Dragon and Mount Fuji

The dragon is a fantastic animal that originated in China and spread throughout Asia. The dragon on this jacket is seen among clouds and bolts of lightning in a setting rendered specifically and unmistakably Ja... more

[Kyōgen play with two characters]

[Kyōgen play with two characters]

Drawing shows an actor on the left with short sword and holding a fan, on the right is an actor wearing a hat and standing on a bundle with his arms spread, as though about to fly.

Fireman's jacket

Fireman's jacket

The outdoor autumnal scene on this coat features maple leaves, curtains and the taiko drum used for performances of court dance (Bugaku). The garment resembles the coats of firemen of the city of Edo, but it la... more

Robe

Robe

The bingata dyeing technique used for this garment involved the application of resist paste through one or more stencils, as well as the application of dyes and pigments to pattern areas with a brush. Usually, ... more

Man's Paper Garment

Man's Paper Garment

Japanese paper, known for its strength and softness, has the added advantage of being very warm. In the process of making paper clothing, sheets of handmade paper are first joined into large sheets (some of the... more

Kosode with Pattern of Tea-Ceremony Utensils on a Small Pattern (Komon) of Auspicious Objects

Kosode with Pattern of Tea-Ceremony Utensils on a Small Pattern (Komon...

Paste-resist and brush dyeing (yūzen) on a background of stencil-resist-dyed plain-weave silk Colorful miniature renditions of items associated with the tea ceremony-including tea bowls, caddies, and whisks, wa... more