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.
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