Quantcast
Videos ()
Buddhism along the Silk Road

Close

Noh Costume (Chōken) with Water Plants and Mulberry Leaves

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
18th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Silk gauze (ro) brocaded with metallic thread
Dimensions:
Overall: 47 1/8 x 80 1/4 in. (119.7 x 203.8 cm)
Classification:
Costumes
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1932
Accession Number:
32.30.4
  • Description

    An outer robe worn primarily for dances by Noh actors in female roles, the chōken is often made of silk gauze delicately patterned in metallic thread. Here, as in many chōken, there are two different patterns. Scattered mulberry leaves decorate the bottom of the robe while at the top are larger designs of water plants: omodaka, with its arrowhead-shaped leaves, and suisen, a type of narcissus.

    The conventionalized flowing water beneath the plants is sometimes called kanze mizu (literally, "Kanze water"), a pattern associated with the Kanze troupe of Noh actors. Kanze mizu later became the symbol for a particular Kabuki actor, Sawamura Sōjūrō III, who appears wearing clothing patterned with the motif in a woodblock print (JP2720) by Utagawa Toyokuni.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
65354

Close