Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Surcoat (Jinbaori)

ca. 1866
Cotton, silk, gold, silver
H. 42 1/8 in. (107 cm); W. 26 3/8 in. (67 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Charles and Ellen Baber Gift, 2012
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Tokugawa family mon (heraldic badge), consisting of a circle enclosing three holly leaves, is applied to the center of the back in thick black velvet. The lining and the lapels are covered with luxurious silk brocade featuring a repeating pattern of square and round cartouches filled with flower blossoms and pairs of dragons and phoenixes.
According to a label attached to it, this surcoat belonged to Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837–1913), the last Shogun (military ruler) of Japan (reigned 1866–68). He may have worn it during his defeat at the battle of Toba Fushimi (January 2, 1868), a watershed event in the transition from feudalism and the Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1868) to the Meiji era and the beginnings of modern Japan.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 2003–2014," November 11, 2014–December 6, 2015.

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