Black crepe haori with kotobuki designs in several colorsArtist(s)JapaneseArtist NationalityJapanese (culture or style)Object Creation Date1940s-1950sMedium & Supportblack crepe silk with wax resist design with red and white silk twill liningDimensions
35 1/16 in x 53 1/8 in (89 cm x 135 cm);24 1/8 in (61.3 cm)Credit LineGift of Howard and Patricia YamaguchiLabel copy
Haori with designs of character kotobuki (longevity)
Showa period (1926–1989)
Black crepe silk with wax resist design with red and white silk twill lining Gift of Howard and Patricia Yamaguchi, 2005/1.352
Obi with designs of character kotobuki (longevity)
Showa period (1926–1989)
Silk brocade with embroidery
Gift of Howard and Patricia Yamaguchi, 2013/2.372
Obi began as modest cloth belts that held kimono in place. By the twentieth century, they were regarded as one of the fundamental decorative components of traditional women’s dress. Tied in the back to form elaborate knots, they are essential to produce the straight-lined silhouette of kimono.
Haori originated as men’s jackets but were adopted by women after regulatory laws were loosened during Japan’s period of Westernization in the nineteenth century. At first, they carried connotations of education and artistic training but later became the de facto outerwear for women who dressed in kimono outside the home. Since the mid-twentieth century, most women wear haori only for formal events.
Both garments include the character kotobuki, meaning happiness, celebration, or longevity. The haori presents the character in various styles and colors rendered in the yuzen dyeing technique, which uses rice-paste as a resist. In the woven brocade of the obi, the kotobuki character is paired with other symbols, such as scrolls signifying knowledge, and lucky mallets said to grant wishes.
The haori was originally part of a man’s formal attire, but in the nineteenth century, female entertainers in Edo (modern Tokyo) adopted it as a cloak for outdoor wear in mild weather. By the end of the century, married women of the upper class adopted black crepe silk haori with family crests (such as that seen here, at the back of the collar) for formal, public occasions. For much of the twentieth century, the haori has been the standard outerwear for a woman who dresses in a kimono outside the home.Physical Description
Black crepe silk with wax-resist design in several colors, touch of gold paint. White silk damask lining with stenciled (katztome) (?) designs of large, abstract flowers (design of white flowers on red ground)Primary Object ClassificationCostume and Costume AccessoriesAdditional Object Classification(s)TextileCollection AreaAsianRights
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