Noh Costume (Karaori) with Cherry Blossoms and Fretwork


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An intense chromatic effect is achieved in this robe, with its cherry blossoms in a range of colors scattered over bands of red and green. Fallen within moments after their full flowering, the blossoms poignantly evoke the transience of human life, a central theme in Noh drama. The inclusion of red places this costume in the category of robes "with color" (iroiri), making it appropriate for the role of a young woman.

Among the formal and technical characteristics that point to an eighteenth-century date for the robe are the absence of metallic threads, the allover patterning, and the length and softness of the textile's floating silk pattern wefts.

Noh Costume (Karaori) with Cherry Blossoms and Fretwork, Silk, brocaded twill, Japan

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