Outstanding Vintage Embroidered Japanese Silk Kimono

Outstanding Vintage Embroidered Japanese Silk Kimono


Outstanding Vintage embroidered Japanese silk kimono featuring rare embroidered motifs rather than painted silk. The Embroidery is a mixture of gold and silver metal thread and coloured silks. They depict folding fans, Kiku Chrysanthemum, Ume plum bloom, Momiji maple leaf and Susuki (silver grass). The fans and elements of the foliage are all embroidered with metal thread with the silver grass being formed entirely from silver thread. The kimono has a background base woven pattern in subtle eau de nil and is of exceptional quality with every seam ‘invisibly’ hand sewn. The entire garment is fully lined with ivory and ballet slipper pink silk.

Being a kimono, the measurements are free/one size fits all but measuring the back panel width is 21.5"

Length from shoulders to hem 62"

Houmongi is a formal kimono. It would have been worn for a wedding ceremony, or prestigious occasion. Usually a Fukuro Obi would be tied on a Houmongi

Notice : The lining has a small single stain and there are a few very subtle marks of age to the outside of the garment which you have to really look for and in no way detract from the exquisite beauty of this kimono and which, due to the precious nature of th garment I have not attempted to remove. This kimono is believed to be over 80 years old and would have taken countless hours to create.

Fans There is various symbolism in Japan associated with fans. The fan itself is a symbol of prosperity as it spreads out when we open it, similar to that of a blooming flower or the widening of wealth. Hiougi was a fan for a princess wearing twelve-layered ceremonial kimono, and for that reason this pattern is often used for wedding gowns.

Kiku was introduced from China during the Nara period. They typically bloom in late summer and will last until the first snowfall. Because of their hardiness and medicinal properties, kiku are often associated with longevity. Perhaps because of this, the kiku was adopted by the Japanese imperial family as its crest and the official flower of Japan. The Japanese emperor is said to sit on the chrysanthemum throne and it is the longest uninterrupted line of monarchs in the world making the long-lived kiku a very appropriate symbol.

The crest of the imperial family shows a kiku with 16 petals in the front and 16 almost completely hidden petals in the back. Only the emperor can use the 16 petaled kiku, so kiku found on kimono, official documents, Japanese passports, and the 50 yen coin will all have a different number of petals

Susuki goes by many names in English including pampas grass, silver grass, and plume grass. It is another member of aki no nakakusa (the seven grasses of autumn). Historically, susuki was used for thatch for the roofs of homes, temples, and sheds. Nowadays, it could be viewed as a weed because it grows everywhere, but Japanese culture embraces simplicity and subtle elegance. Susuki, a simple but elegant grass, is emblematic of this mindset.  Susuki is an essential decoration for tsukimi, the mid-autumn moon viewing festival.

Aki no nanakusa (秋の七草)

The seven flowers or grasses of autumn. It’s unknown who first put together this group of plants as a representation of autumn, but it is a classic theme of even the oldest Japanese poetry.

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