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Robe with Mandarin Orange Tree and Auspicious Characters

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
second half of the 18th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Dyed and embroidered silk crepe (chijimi) with couched gold-wrapped threads
Dimensions:
50 x 65 in. (127 x 165.1 cm)
Classification:
Costumes
Credit Line:
Purchase, Parnassus Foundation/Jane and Raphael Bernstein Gift, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.325
  • Description

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

    A mandarin orange tree (tachibana) bearing fruit and flowers rises from the center back hem of this narrow-sleeved robe (kosode) in a design scheme typical of the second half of the eighteenth century. At the top, the sleeves and upper body of the robe are embellished with auspicious characters richly embroidered in green or purple silk or in gold thread. The three characters read (left to right): Manzai- raku 萬歳楽, which literally means, “Enjoying comfort for ten thousand years.” Manzai-raku is also the name of a type of ancient court music and dance (bugaku) that was performed to celebrate the New Year’s season. The phrase calls to mind a song from the auspicious Noh play Takasago, which proclaims that performing Manzai-raku brings long life.

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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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