Kyōgen Overvest (kataginu) with Japanese Lobster


Not on view

Sometimes called "the old man of the sea" because of its bent back, the Japanese lobster (ise-ebi or kamakuraebi) is a symbol of longevity. Here it appears on the back of a vest worn for theatrical performances. Kyōgen is a comic form of Japanese theater performed together with the more serious Noh. Boldly patterned overvests (kataginu) were worn for important kyōgen roles, such as Tarōkaja, the comical servant. The kataginu would be worn over a robe and with trousers patterned with circular crests.

Kyōgen Overvest (kataginu) with Japanese Lobster, Resist-dyed and painted on plain weave hemp, Japan

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Overall; front