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Wedding cloak

Accession Number
1986/1.215

Title
Wedding cloak

Artist(s)
Japanese

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1920-1980

Medium & Support
silk brocade with gilt paper (kinran), embroidery and couched metallic threads

Dimensions
( );29 15/16 in x 18 1/8 in x 6 5/16 in (76.04 cm x 46.04 cm x 16.03 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Diana and Theodore Golden

Label copy
Traditional attire has virtually disappeared from the city and countryside in modern Japan as a type of dress for work or play, but it retains a significant place in ceremonial contexts. Young women in particular often choose expensive kimono for coming-of-age ceremonies or college graduation parties—one an ancient aristocratic tradition only recently adopted by the middle class, and the other new to the twentieth century. Wedding costumes are the most extravagant of all, as seen in this spectacular uchikake. No expense has been spared in this cloak’s materials or workmanship. The apple-green fabric is pure silk brocade, woven in an overall pattern of maple leaves scattered on a flowing stream—an allusion to a famous classical poem. On top of the brocade is a thick layer of embroidery, with plum blossoms in red silk, and pine branches and doves in dazzling metallic threads of gold, silver, and copper. The combination of motifs is unusual, and may have been explicitly commissioned by the wearer. Wedding cloaks such as this have long, padded hems that are red or orange in color and drag on the floor as the bride walks; they are worn over a wedding kimono and obi (sash). Due to its thickness and weight, the uchikake is never belted closed.

; Label copy
Wedding cloak (uchikake)
Japan, Showa period (1926–1989)
1920–80
Silk brocade with gilt paper (kinran), embroidery, and couched metallic threads
Gift of Diana and Theodore Golden, 1986/1.215

Traditional attire has virtually disappeared from the city and countryside in modern Japan as a type of dress for work or play, but it retains a significant place in ceremonial contexts. Young women in particular often choose expensive kimono for coming-of- age ceremonies or college graduation parties—one an ancient aristocratic tradition only recently adopted by the middle class, and the other new to the twentieth century. Wedding costumes are the most extravagant of all, as seen in this spectacular uchikake.

No expense has been spared in this cloak’s materials or workmanship. The apple-green fabric is pure silk brocade, woven in an overall pattern of maple leaves scattered on a flowing stream—an allusion to a famous classical poem. On top of the brocade is a thick layer of embroidery, with plum blossoms in red silk, and pine branches and doves in dazzling metallic threads of gold, silver, and copper. The combination of motifs is unusual, and may have been explicitly commissioned by the wearer. Wedding cloaks such as this have long, padded hems that are red or orange in color and drag on the floor as the bride walks; they are worn over a wedding kimono and obi (sash). Due to its thickness and weight, the uchikake is never belted closed.

Subject matter
Traditional attire has virtually disappeared from city and countryside in Japan, whether for work or play, yet it retains a significant place in Japanese life in ceremonial contexts. Wedding costumes are the most extravagant of all kimono, as seen in this spectacular uchikake or cloak.

Physical Description
The apple-green fabric is pure silk brocade, woven in an overall pattern of maple leaves scattered on a flowing stream—an allusion to a famous classical poem. Lying on top of the brocade is a thick layer of embroidery, with plum blossoms in red silk, and pine branches and doves in dazzling metallic threads of gold, silver, and copper.

Primary Object Classification
Costume and Costume Accessories

Primary Object Type
kimono

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
embroidery (visual works)
flowers (plant components)
kimonos
pigeons (general term)
trees
weddings (ceremonies)

& Author Notes

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