This kosode of figured satin silk (rinzu) is a prime example of the type and quality of uchikake (outer kimono) worn by women of the highest rank of the samurai class for formal occasions. It features a beautiful variety of flowers (wisteria, chrysanthemums, irises) interspersed with curvy lines and the auspicious swatiska symbol. The designs are achieved through a sophisticated blend of techniques: stencil imitation tie dyeing (suri-hitta/ kata kanoko), ink painting (kaki-e) and embroidery in silk and metal-wrapped threads. The kosode was the main garment of choice for men and women during the Edo period, and is regarded as the predecessor to the modern kimono. During Tokugawa rule in particular, fashionable dress was a key marker of material wealth and aesthetic refinement, and individual style was conveyed through the choice of surface decoration of the kosode.

Object size: 176.5 x 128.0 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Garments and Accessories

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