Kimono thumbnail 1
Kimono thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Kimono

1780-1820 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This kimono has been decorated using ink, embroidery and stencil-dyeing. Nature provides the main source for the motifs used in Japanese art and bamboo, which features here, is an especially popular subject. Across the shoulders of the kimono are various characters taken from the 'Poems of Congratulation' in the 10th-century Kokinshu anthology. Incorporating the written word into the design of the kimono would have demonstrated the literary discernment of the wearer.
read Kimono Japan has a very rich textile history, with the kimono being a major focus of interest and artistic expression. Meaning 'the thing to wear', the term kimono was first adopted in the mid-19th century. Originally worn by commoners, or as an undergarment by the aristocracy, from the 16th cent...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Figured satin silk (<i>rinzu</i>) with ink painting (<i>kaki-e</i>), stencil imitation tie-dyeing (<i>suri-hitta</i>) and embroidery in silk and metal-wrapped threads
Brief Description
Kimono, figured satin silk (rinzu) with ink painting (kaki-e), stencil imitation tie-dyeing (surihitta) and embroidery in silk and metal threads with a design of bamboo and characters, Japan, 1780-1820
Physical Description
Kimono (kosode) of white figured satin (rinzu) of 1/4 weft-faced figure of key fret, and flowers on 4/1 warp-faced ground.

The all-over vertical design is of bamboo and across the shoulders back and front are characters. These come from a number of different poems in the 'Poems of Congratulation' section of the Kokinshu anthology (compiled about 905 AD) and include wishes for long life, and making reference to the auspicious crane and turtle. Both the bamboo and the characters are depicted with embroidery in orange-red, green and metal-wrapped silk threads, black ink which is painted directly in the cloth, and stenci resist-dyeing which is used to imitate tie-dyeing. The garment is lined with scarlet plain weave silk and there is a small wadded hem. The garment has been altered at some point in its history, probably in the Meiji period when kimono such as this came on to the open market.
Dimensions
  • Length: 180cm
  • Width: 130cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
(Inscriptions come from the 'Poems of Congratulation' section of the 10th century anthology Kokinshu.)
Object history
Purchased. Registered File number 1982/1022.
Subject depicted
Summary
This kimono has been decorated using ink, embroidery and stencil-dyeing. Nature provides the main source for the motifs used in Japanese art and bamboo, which features here, is an especially popular subject. Across the shoulders of the kimono are various characters taken from the 'Poems of Congratulation' in the 10th-century Kokinshu anthology. Incorporating the written word into the design of the kimono would have demonstrated the literary discernment of the wearer.
Bibliographic References
  • Jackson, Anna, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, plate 72
  • Earle, J. (editor), Japanese Art and Design: The Toshiba Gallery Guide, London: V&A Publications, 1986, page 87
  • Bicknell, Julian, Hiroshige in Tokyo: The Floating World of Edo, San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1994, page 12
  • Wilson, Verity, 'Japanese Silk Textiles in the Toshiba Gallery, V&A' in ORIENTATIONS,/u vol.17, no.12; December 1986 ('The Toshiba Gallery' edition)
Collection
Accession Number
FE.106-1982

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL