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Outer Robe (Japan)

Outer robe (Uchikake), Japan, late 18th / early 19th centuries (back view). Outer robe (Uchikake), Japan, late 18th / early 19th centuries (back view). Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 1976.108.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses a woman's ceremonial outer robe (uchikake) that dates to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. It is made of tie-dyed satin damask with silk embroidery and gold thread couching. The robe, which measures 176.5 x 123.2 cm, was traditionally worn without a sash on top of another robe called the kosode.

This outer robe is decorated with various motifs, including the evergreen mandarin tree (tachibana) executed in tie-dye (shibori) on a patterned black silk damask ground, furthermore ornamented with embroidery and gold thread couching.

This outer robe may have been worn at a marriage ceremony on top of a wedding kimono; this seems indicated by some of the decorative designs, as for instance the pairs of folded-paper butterflies (male and female !).

Metropolitan Museum of Art online catalogue (retrieved 14 September 2016).

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Last modified on Wednesday, 14 September 2016 09:54