Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Pattern of Cypress Fans and Yūgao Blossoms

Edo period (1615–1868)
18th–early 19th century
Twill-weave silk with brocading in silk and supplementary-weft patterning in silk and metallic thread
Overall: 67 x 56 in. (170.2 x 142.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Dorothy F. Rolph, in memory of her sister, Helen L. Beloussoff, 1961
Accession Number:
Not on view
This pattern of open cypress fans and blossoms from a yūgao gourd vine unmistakably evokes an episode from chapter 4 of The Tale of Genji—Prince Genji’s tragic affair with a mysterious young woman who responds to his poem by presenting a spray of yūgao blossoms on a fan and later dies at the hands of the jealous spirit of Genji’s neglected lover Lady Rokujō. The episode inspired a noh play called Yūgao, attributed to Zeami (ca. 1364–ca. 1443). In the play, the young woman appears as a ghost who achieves peace and enlightenment through the power of the Lotus Sutra.
Related Objects

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Pattern of Fans Floating on Water

Date: 18th century Medium: Twill-weave silk brocaded with silk and metallic thread Accession: 91.1.60 On view in:Not on view

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Cherry Blossoms and Fretwork

Date: first half of the 18th century Medium: Brocaded silk twill Accession: 19.88.2 On view in:Not on view

Three Gods of Good Fortune Visit the Yoshiwara; or “Scenes of Pleasure at the Height of Spring”

Artist: Chōbunsai Eishi (Japanese, 1756–1829) Date: early 19th century Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 2015.300.145 On view in:Gallery 231

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Autumn Flowers and Grasses

Date: first half of the 19th century Medium: Twill-weave silk brocade with supplementary weft patterning in metallic thread Accession: 91.1.80 On view in:Not on view

Noh Robe (Karaori) with Pattern of Bamboo and Young Pines on Bands of Red and White

Date: 19th century Medium: Silk twill weave with resist-dyed warps and supplementary weft patterning (karaori) Accession: 1979.408 On view in:Not on view