Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Noh Robe (Nuihaku) with Design of Butterflies, Chrysanthemums, Maple Leaves, and Miscanthus Grass

Edo period (1615–1868)
second half of the 18th century
Silk embroidery and gold leaf on silk satin
Overall: 63 3/4 x 54 in. (161.9 x 137.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1932
Accession Number:
Not on view
The butterfly motif came into its own in China during the Tang dynasty (618-906), and several examples of decorative arts of the Tang bearing this pattern were preserved in the eighth-century Shôsôin imperial repository in Nara, Japan. Chinese secular poetry and writings on Buddhism also featured the butterfly, and Japanese admiration for these texts helped bring the motif to the fore in the literary and visual arts of Japan, where its popularity has lasted for centuries.
This robe is decorated only at the shoulders (kata) and hem (suso), where the embroidered autumn design is on a glowing background of gold leaf.
Related Objects

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

Woman's Ceremonial Robe (The Bat Medallion Robe)

Date: first half of the18th century Medium: Silk and metallic thread embroidery on silk satin Accession: 43.119 On view in:Not on view

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

Lidded Brazier (Te-aburi) with Paulownia and Geometric Design

Date: 18th century Medium: Stoneware with overglaze enamels and gold (Ko-Kiyomizu ware) Accession: 2015.300.267a, b On view in:Gallery 229

Guardian Lion-Dogs

Date: mid-13th century Medium: Japanese cypress with lacquer, gold leaf, and color Accession: 2015.300.257a, b On view in:Gallery 223