Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Mount Penglai


Not on view

The legendary isle of the immortals, located in the eastern seas according to ancient Chinese legend, is called Mount Penglai. In Japan, where it is called Hōrai, it was frequently represented as a gathering of cranes and tortoises in a bright landscape dominated by pine, plum, and bamboo. An auspicious theme, it was often used, as here, for bridal garments. This lined silk robe, or uchikake, with a wadded hem was meant to be worn as an outer garment, without a sash. It displays a wealth of motifs symbolizing good fortune, steadfastness, and longevity, including the Three Friends of Winter—plum blossoms, pine, and bamboo—cranes and long-tailed tortoises, and chrysanthemums of different colors.

Outer Robe (Uchikake) with Mount Penglai, Crepe silk with paste-resist dyeing, stencil-dyed dots, silk- and gold-thread embroidery, Japan

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