Silk Patchwork Dounuki
This is a yosegire patchwork juban, or under kimono, from the late Edo period (1603-1867).
The body of the garment is made up of beautiful strips of colored kimono silk linings, fragments of printed chirimen, and other other kimono silks. Some of these fragments such as those found on the sleeves appear to be colored with vegetable dyes. Of interest is the skirt which has a dyed motifs of tortoise, crane and 'shou-chiku-bai' (pine tree, bamboo and plum blossom) - - auspicious Japanese symbols that together represent steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience.
There is a tradition in Japan of very gorgeous linings and undergarments which would never have been seen in public. The standard explanation for this is that it was originally a reaction to Edo-period sumptuary laws, which controlled the color and types of fabric which could be worn by different classes of people.
This beautiful kimono is a reminder that necessity and simplicity often create the most striking designs.
Dimensions: Sleeve to Sleeve 49.5" (125.5cm) x Length 49.5" (125.5cm)
Late 19th Century