Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Unlined Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Plovers in Flight over Stylized Waves

Taishō period (1912–26)
Embroidered and resist-dyed silk gauze (ro)
H (shoulder to hem) 61 in. (154.9 cm); W (wrist opening to wrist opening) 50 in. (127 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Atsuko Irie, in honor of Suga Irie, 1998
Accession Number:
Not on view
Unlined, light and airy summer kimonos are often decorated with motifs for their cooling psychological effect. Here, violet and white plovers wheel and dive on a background of abstract peaked shapes that may be meant to represent waves or the drying fishnets found along the shores where plovers were plentiful. The violet plovers were embroidered in silk, while the white plovers were resist dyed on the dark ground and have tiny embroidered silver eyes. Similar patterns were popular in the second half of the Edo period (1615–1868), but the layout of the design was different and the depiction of the scene less stylized.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 2002.

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