Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Unlined Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Crickets, Grasshoppers, Cricket Cages, and Pampas Grass

Meiji period (1868–1912)
early 20th century
Paste-resist dyed (yūzen) and painted silk gauze with embroidery
Overall: 65 × 50 in. (165.1 × 127 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1937
Accession Number:
Not on view
In Japan, insects beloved for their chirping song were sometimes caught or purchased and kept in cages. This robe features a variety of insects in cages amid pampas grass, evoking cool autumn days, which are often depicted on summer kimonos. The pampas grass, cages, crickets, grasshoppers, and bell-ring insects (suzumushi) are rendered using paste-resist dyeing (yūzen) and embroidery. Variations in the application of the ground dye and scattered, glinting gold embroidery evoke the quality of light at the end of an autumn day. This design was already popular in the early Edo period and is depicted in the first volume of the On-hiinagata (1667), the earliest woodblock-printed book of patterns for kosode.
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Treasured Costumes of Japan," January 3, 1970–January 31, 1970.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Hidden Treasures of Japanese Art; A Selection of Prints, Netsuke and Inro from the Metropolitan Museum," November 1, 1973–March 1974.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Noh Robes," 1993.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Kodai-ji Lacquer," 1995.

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

New York. Asia Society. "A Passion for Asia: The Rockefeller Family Collects," February 23, 2006–September 3, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.

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