Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Noh Costume (Nuihaku) with Millet and Nandina Berries on a Background of Pine Branches and Zither Bridges

Edo period (1615–1868)
late 18th–early 19th century
Silk embroidery and gold leaf on silk twill
Overall: 66 1/2 x 52 3/4 in. (168.9 x 134 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1958
Accession Number:
Not on view
A nuihaku is a pliant, full-length costume for the Noh theater usually worn by actors playing the roles of women or young men. The term nuihaku is a compound word made up of two textile techniques: embroidery (nui) and application of metallic leaf (haku). On this robe, the embroidered design consists of scattered sprays of ripe millet and nandina plants with their characteristic red berries, while applied gold leaf defines alternating blocks of pine branches and zither (koto) bridges. All four motifs have auspicious symbolism in Japanese art.
New Orleans Museum of Art , New Orleans (1958; sold to MMA),
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art," June 24, 2011–October 23, 2011.

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