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Cambodian Rattan: The Sculpture of Sopheap Pich

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Unlined Kimono with Landscape and Poem

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
second half of the 18th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Silk gauze (ro); silk embroidery and resist dyeing
Dimensions:
64 x 47 1/4 in. (162.5 x 120 cm)
Classification:
Costumes
Credit Line:
Gift of Margaret Wishard, in memory of her mother, Mrs. Luther D. Wishard, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.278
  • Description

    On view Rotation 1, August 17 to November 3, 2013

    This light, unlined robe (hitoe) is designed for summer. On a blue background, flowers and plants of the four seasons are depicted in a landscape setting. Spring flowers are represented along the hem; upward we see wisteria and other summer plants; toward the middle appear autumnal maple leaves; and around the neckline and on the sleeves grow winter pines, including young pines. Thus turns the eternal cycle of the seasons, and with it the passage of time in a person’s life. Across the sleeves and upper body, the characters of a felicitous poem celebrating longevity and happiness make their graceful way from the front to the back of the robe. All these characters and notions have auspicious meanings. The expression “children of cranes” often symbolizes parental love and affection, as cranes rear children who live for a thousand years. The text reads:

    (Front)
    Toshi o iwau
    yorozuyo no kame

    Celebrating old age, turtles
    live for ten thousand years,

    (Reverse)
    tsuru no ko wa
    chiyo o kotobuku
    hana nare ya

    and the offspring of cranes
    for a thousand years—
    flourishing in their long lives

    —Trans. Monika Bincsik

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
45402

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