Tagasode (“Whose Sleeves?”), Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, gold, silver, and gold leaf on paper , Japan

誰ヶ袖図屏風
Tagasode (“Whose Sleeves?”)

Period:
Momoyama (1573–1615) or Edo (1615–1868) period
Date:
first half of the 17th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, gold, silver, and gold leaf on paper
Dimensions:
Overall (each screen): 59 1/4 x 10 ft. 10 11/16 in. (150.5 x 332 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Mrs. Dunbar W. Bostwick, John C. Wilmerding, J. Watson Webb Jr., Harry H. Webb, and Samuel B. Webb, 1962
Accession Number:
62.36.2, .3
Not on view
A group of screens bearing the poetic sobriquet Tagasode byōbu, or “Whose sleeves?,” depict an array of sumptuously patterned garments draped over clothing stands. The phrase “Whose Sleeves?” is found in classical love poems and was not commonly used to refer to this type of screen until the late nineteenth century. Yet, by the early seventeenth century, representations of clothing stands (ikō-zu) with lavish garments appear in painted handscrolls and woodblock-printed books. Such screens may have emerged from genre scenes with close-up views of single street scenes or intimate gatherings in indoor or outdoor settings. In “Whose Sleeves” screens, the figures have disappeared, leaving only a hint of their former presence amid garments draped over clothing stands. The garments depicted on this pair of screens reflect fashion trends of the late sixteenth through the early seventeenth century.
Mrs. Dunbar W. Bostwick, John C. Wilmerding, J. Watson Webb Jr., Harry H. Webb , and Samuel Webb (until 1962; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Noh Robes," 1993.