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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

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Accession Number



Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
mid- to late-20th century

Medium & Support
brocade silk

156 in x 12 ½ in (396.24 cm x 31.75 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Kazuko Miyake

Subject matter

This is a Nishijin, Nishiki, and maru obi in zentsuu-gara.

The design consists of a gold wavy-lined background with maroon braided tie-strings and hachiryoumon (eight-pointed petaled flowers) containing cherry blossoms, plum blossoms,chrysanthemums, phoenixes, autumnal foliage, and bamboo motif patterning.

Maru obi are the most formal type of obi, having elaborate patterned brocade or tapestry on both sides, typically decorated with rich gold thread. The classic maru obi measures 13inc (33cm) wide. It was most popular during the Meiji (1867-1912) and Taisho period (1912-1925). However, the maru obi is rarely worn today due to its excessive cost and uncomfortable weight.

Nishijin-ori textiles were developed in the Nishijin area of Kyoto city and has dominated the production of high-quality woven textiles since the fifteenth century. The production of Nishijin textiles is very complex and is specialized in five main areas—designing and creating patterns, producing silk threads, producing tools (including weaving machines), weaving, and final sewing—each executed in a different workshop. 

Nishiki is a type of vibrant silk brocade with vivid and luxurious images using various colorful  and metallic (mainly gold and silver). Nishiki brocade is mainly produced in the Nishijin area of Kyoto.

Gara refers to the orientation, arrangement, and surface area of the patterns and pertains to a specific trend and obi tying style.

In the Zentsuu gara type, the obi is entirely covered with designs, patterns, and motifs. The versatility of this patterning allows for a variety of obi tying styles.

Physical Description

off-white maru (double-sided) obi containing various interwoven maroon, green, and brown motifs.

Primary Object Classification
Costume and Costume Accessories

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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brocade (textile)
green colors
maroon (color)
silk (silkworm material)

& Author Notes

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