Noh Costume (Chōken) with Water Plants and Mulberry Leaves
Not on view
A wide-sleeved outer robe worn primarily by Noh actors performing dances in female roles, the chōken is often made of silk gauze delicately patterned in metallic thread. Here, as in many chōken, there are two different patterns. Scattered mulberry leaves decorate the base of the robe and sleeves, while larger, crestlike compositions of water plants (omodaka, arrowhead, and suisen, a type of narcissus) decorate the chest and shoulders. The motifs are related to the Tanabata Festival, celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month. According to legend, this is the only day of the year when the two “lover-stars” or deities Orihime and Hikoboshi—ordinarily separated by the Milky Way—can meet.
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