A 19th Century Child's Katazome Kimono: Handwoven Cotton
late nineteenth century
26" x 23", 66 cm x 58.5 cm
Please pay special attention to this wonderfully good child's kimono.
It is hand stitched of heavy, very good old cotton cloth, hand loomed, of course, which is dyed in botanical indigo dye.
A curious detail that adds a dimension of extra-interest to this garment: the same cloth is dyed in two tones of indigo, one darker, one lighter, which makes for a more complex visual effect.
The entire garment is katazome, or stencil resist dyed in an elaborate pattern that shows a complex, pictorial rendering of the famous, traditional shochikubai pattern: shochikubai, is the design triad of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms, which conveys good wishes. Plum shows courage as its blossoms, the first of the year, burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life and also of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs.
Note as well that the katazome cloth was stenciled on both its sides so that the cloth is "reversible," meaning that the pattern is just as clear on the inside as it is on the outside--an ingenious detail.
This small kimono speaks loud on the spirit of old Japan and its beautiful condition, cloth and construction make it not only collectible, but a fine example of its kind.