Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Clara L. Ryder, 1929
Not on view
Known as Yokohama robes for the Japanese port from which they were exported, this type of embroidered informal gown was one of the first items to be exported after Japan was opened to the West in 1854. The Yokohama port was then opened in 1859. The robes were sought after by women of economic means for their beauty, warmth, light weight and sense of exoticism. While the embroidery motifs on Yokohama robes, such as the swallows and floral tendrils on the pockets in this example, are very much in the Japanese taste, the cut of the garment is in the Western style, bearing no relation to native Japanese dress.
The density of the embroidery on this piece exudes elegance and luxury and is finer than that worked on the later examples of the 1890s.