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  • Place of origin:


  • Date:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plain weave crepe, resist-dyeing, ink painting, embroidery. Lining: plain weave, block-clamp resist-dyeing.

  • Museum number:

    FE.18:1-2014 to FE.18:2-2014

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition []

This supremely elegant formal kimono is completely devoid of decoration on the back apart from the three crests denoting the family of the woman who wore it. On the front, only the area around the hem and opening bears a pattern which extends to the inside of the garment. The minutely detailed scene shows women picking tea from bushes alongside a lake, the delicate shading into the plain blue-grey of the main body of the garment suggesting the cool light of morning. One notable fashion trend of the Meiji period was the emergence of the two-layered kimono set which featured outer and inner garments of the same design. Here the inner garment, called a dōnuki, has a simplified version of the patterning of the outer kimono, while the main body is of a light, plain weave silk dyed bright red using a clamping resist-dyeing technique (itajime). Not designed to be seen, this fabric was mass-produced and thus much cheaper than that used for the main parts of the ensemble, but it was nevertheless considered very modern and stylish. The subtle patterning and hidden lining suggest the woman who wore this kimono ensemble had sophisticated taste.

Physical description

Two-piece kimono set (kasane), plain weave crepe with freehand paste-resist dyeing (yūzen), ink painting (kaki-e), and embroidery in silk and metallic threads. Decorated around the front hem with a scene of tea pickers by a lake which extends on to the lining. Five crests. The inner kimono has the same design but the upper section is of plain weave silk, with a block clamped resist dyed design of cherry blossoms.

Place of Origin




Materials and Techniques

Plain weave crepe, resist-dyeing, ink painting, embroidery. Lining: plain weave, block-clamp resist-dyeing.


Height: 149.5 cm outer kimono, Width: 121.5 cm outer kimono, Width: 121 cm inner kimono, Height: 149.5 cm inner kimono, :

Descriptive line

Tex, Japan, resist-dyed, two-piece kimono set with scene of tea pickers, Meiji period

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Rout, Josephine, Japanese Dress in Detail, London: Thames & Hudson, 2020
Jackson, Anna (editor), Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, London: V&A Publishing, 2020

Labels and date

The inner kimono was not visible when this set was worn. Its bold pattern and bright colour contrasts dramatically with the exquisite depiction of tea-pickers concentrated purely on the front edge of the two garments. This design continues on the lining which would have be glimpsed as the woman walked. Stylistically this kimono set is similar to those of the late Edo period. It is the ultimate in updated chic. [29/02/2020]




East Asia Collection

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