紅地若松雪持竹模様唐織 Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Young Pines and Snow-Covered Bamboo on a Red Ground
Edo period (1615–1868)
Silk twill weave with supplementary weft patterning (karaori)
Overall: 44 1/4 x 43 in. (112.4 x 109.2 cm)
Anonymous Gift, 1949
Not on view
Green in the depth of winter, pine and bamboo are emblematic of that season and of long life. Together with the plum (not rendered here but perhaps suggested by the deep red color of the robe), these plants traditionally augur a felicitous new year. Pillowy soft snow mounded on branches was a common textile pattern of the Momoyama period (1573–1615), but in the Edo period snow usually took the more stylized form of the yukiwa (literally, "snow circle") motifs seen on the bamboo leaves on this robe.
The small size of this Noh costume makes it appropriate for kokata (child actors), who played the roles of children and exalted personages such as the emperor.
Private Collection, New York (until 1949; donated to MMA).
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Treasured Costumes of Japan," January 3, 1970–January 31, 1970.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Noh Robes," 1993.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art (Part One)," October 12, 1995–April 28, 1996.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part One)," 1997–98.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Snow in Ukiyo-e Prints and Paintings," October 20, 2004–November 26, 2005.