Piece

Japan

Not on view

The original use of this fragment is unclear, but the fiber (asa) and the textile's auspicious overall pattern of flower-filled hexagons hint that it could be a fragment from a costume of matching jacket and long trousers (nagakamishimo) for the Noh or kyōgen theater.

One limitation of stencils is that they cannot accommodate patterns of rings because the middle falls out if a circle is cut into paper. Japanese stencil carvers and dyers avoided this problem by reinforcing stencils with thread or by using two stencils, one for part of each ring and a second for the rest. Because the hexagons and floral patterns in this textile are completed ringlike forms, either a double stencil or a single thread-reinforced stencil must have been used.

Piece, Ground of blue bast fiber (asa), Japan

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