Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Unlined Kosode (Hitoe) with Grasses and Dewdrops

Edo period (1615–1868)
second half of the 18th–19th century
Resist-dyed plain-weave silk gauze (ro) embroidered with silk and metallic thread
64 1/2 in. × 48 in. (163.8 × 121.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. and several members of The Chairman's Council Gifts, 2000 Benefit Fund, and funds from various donors, 2001
Accession Number:
Not on view
This elegant summer robe features a cooling design of grasses and drops of dew. The large circles reserved in white contain lightly painted peony crest patterns; however, from afar, the peony designs are not visible and the circles resemble the full moon above a grassy field—a classic autumnal theme.

The robe displays two significant changes typical of the late Edo period. First, the focal point of the patterning has moved from the back of the garment to the front and hem edges. Second, in a departure from the brush-dyeing of the multicolored yūzen technique, which was common in the middle Edo period, a simpler procedure called shiro agari (literally, "finished in white") was used. Lines of paste were applied before the cloth was dip-dyed, and the paste resisted the dye; then, details were embroidered. The process of shiro agari resulted in the simplicity seen here—white lines representing grasses on a richly dyed purple background enhanced with touches of embroidery, such as the dewdrops couched in gold.
Related Objects

Unlined Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Landscape and Poem

Date: second half of the 18th century Medium: Embroidered and resist-dyed silk gauze (ro) Accession: 1974.278 On view in:Gallery 231

Robe (Kosode) with Cherry Blossoms and Cypress Fence

Date: second half of the 17th century Medium: Silk and metallic thread embroidery with resist dyeing on satin damask Accession: 1980.222 On view in:Not on view

Robe (Kosode) with Mandarin Orange Tree and Auspicious Characters

Date: second half of the 18th century Medium: Dyed and embroidered silk crepe with couched gold-wrapped threads Accession: 2002.325 On view in:Gallery 231

Robe (Kosode) with Shells and Sea Grasses

Date: early 17th century Medium: Embroidery and gold leaf on plain-weave silk patterned with warp floats Accession: 1992.253 On view in:Not on view

Oil bottle decorated with peonies and chrysanthemums

Date: 13th century Medium: Stoneware with copper-red and inlaid design under celadon glaze Accession: 11.8.3 On view in:Gallery 233