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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1926-1945 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plain-weave silk, stencil-printed on fabric surface (kata-yūzen)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Janice Thorburn

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This kimono for a young boy depicts Momotarō, the ‘peach boy’, a hero of Japanese folklore. According to legend, an old, childless couple found a peach floating down a river and when they cut the fruit open to eat it, a boy emerged saying he had been sent from heaven to be their son. Some years later Momotarō and his animal friends set off to fight a band of marauding oni (demons) on a distant island. They won their fight and returned home with treasure. On this kimono, Momotarō is shown with a cart of treasures and a banner, surmounted by a peach, which reads Nihonichi (‘Japan number one’). Momotarō was a very popular figure in Japan from the 1920s through to the years of the Asia-Pacific War. He was the subject of many films and children’s cartoons of the period such as Nihonichi Momotarō of 1928.

Physical description

Kimono for a young boy, plain-weave silk, stencil-printed on the fabric surface. On a purple and cream striped ground is a design of Momotarō (the ‘peach boy’) holding a fan, a cart with takara zukushi (‘various treasures’) including a bag of fortune, scrolls of wisdom and longevity, merchant’s weights, sacred jewels, a sacred key, coral, cloves in waves, pine, bamboo, dumplings on a stick, and a floral diamond motif (hanabishi) within tortoise-shell hexagons (kikkō). Ties of yellow silk. Unlined.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


1926-1945 (made)


Unknown (made)

Materials and Techniques

Plain-weave silk, stencil-printed on fabric surface (kata-yūzen)


Length: 68 cm, Width: 68.5 cm

Descriptive line

Tex, Japan, resist-dyed. Kimono for a young boy with Momotarō and various treasures; Shōwa period




East Asia Collection

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