Art/ Collection/ Art Object

縹絽地風景歌文字模様単衣
Unlined Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Landscape and Poem

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
second half of the 18th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Embroidered and resist-dyed silk gauze (ro)
Dimensions:
64 x 47 1/4 in. (162.5 x 120 cm)
Classification:
Costumes
Credit Line:
Gift of Margaret Wishard, in memory of her mother, Mrs. Luther D. Wishard, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.278
Not on view
This light, unlined robe (hito-e) is designed for summer. On a blue background, flowers and plants of the four seasons appear in landscape settings. Spring flowers are represented along the hem; above them we see wisteria and other summer plants; toward the middle appear autumnal maple leaves; and around the neckline and on the sleeves are winter pine-sapling motifs.

The characters of a felicitous poem celebrating longevity and happiness make their way from the front to the back of the robe:

[front]
Toshi o iwau
yorozuyo no kame

Celebrating old age, turtles
live for ten thousand years,

[back]
tsuru no ko wa
chiyo o kotobuku
hana nare ya

and the offspring of cranes
for a thousand years—
flourishing in their long lives.

—Trans. Monika Bincsik
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art, Part II," May 1, 1996–September 8, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes in Japanese Art," June 24, 2010–November 7, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," October 20, 2015–January 22, 2017.

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