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Under-Sash

1955 - 1958 (made)
Place of origin

Kimono have no buttons or clasps so are secured around the waist with a sash called an obi. During the Edo period (1615-1868) the obi grew wider and more elaborate until it assumed more of a decorative than practical function. It is under-sashes, such as this mid-20th century example, that actually keep the kimono closed.

Object details

Object type
Materials and techniques
Rib weave with supplementary warps
Brief description
Tex, Japan, woven. Under-sash of green silk woven with a central section of geometric patterns; Shōwa period
Physical description
Under-sash, green rib weave silk, with central panel woven with geometric patterns in supplementary warps and bordered with gold thread. The warp ends are divided into 16 tassels which are knotted and then plaited.
Dimensions
  • Length with tassels length: 195.5cm
  • Length: 110.5cm (Length without tassels )
  • Width: 10.7cm
Credit line
Given by Sarah Brooks in memory of her mother Bernice Eileen (Wiese) Boo
Object history
This kimono ensemble belonged to Bernice Eileen Boo (1930-2010). Brought up on a small farm in Spencer, Iowa, she became a teacher of music for the US Department of Defense. She subsequently travelled the world teaching music, English, and other subjects to the children of families living on military bases. She taught at the Narimasu High School, Grant Heights, Tokyo, Japan, from 1957-1959, which is when she probably acquired this outfit which consists of a summer kimono (hitoe), obi (sash), obi-pad (obimakura), under-sash, under-kimono (nagajuban), underwear (hadajuban and susuyoke), shoes (zori) and sock (tabi), together with a wrapping cloth (furoshiki).
Summary
Kimono have no buttons or clasps so are secured around the waist with a sash called an obi. During the Edo period (1615-1868) the obi grew wider and more elaborate until it assumed more of a decorative than practical function. It is under-sashes, such as this mid-20th century example, that actually keep the kimono closed.
Associated object
FE.36:1-2015 (Ensemble)
Collection
Accession number
FE.37-2015

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Record createdMay 22, 2015
Record URL
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