Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Robe with Tanzaku and Shikishi Poem Cards

Shōwa period (1926–89)
first half of the 20th century
Crepe silk (chirimen); resist-dyed and hand-painted patterns, gold accents
Overall: 62 1/2 × 51 in. (158.8 × 129.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Sue Cassidy Clark, in memory of Terry Satsuki Milhaupt, 2013
Accession Number:
Not on view
The bluish-grey crepe silk kimono is decorated with colorful poem cards along the hem. The cards—elongated tanzaku and square shikishi—are depicted as an impressive collection that has just been scattered in front of someone to make a selection. Some bear inscriptions in a wide variety of calligraphic styles, while others are uninscribed. Still others are depicted upside down. The poem cards display a wide variety of motifs, including flowers, maple leaves, waves, or pine needles, in imitation of actual cards. Some are embellished with gold flakes, replicating the decoration of the elegant calligraphy papers.
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