On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.
Meisen Summer Kimono with Rabbits and Scouring Rushes
Not on view
This playful pattern of white rabbits and scouring rushes—stiff plants used for polishing—has a long history in Japanese art. The design suggests the rabbits are gnawing the rushes to grind down their teeth, symbolizing self-improvement and industriousness. Here, however, the classical composition has been modernized and stylized. This kimono might have been created in 1939, the Year of the Rabbit. It was likely made as a young girl’s ceremonial garment for the New Year’s celebration, and then tailored into a summer kimono.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.