A Beautifully Hand Painted Child's Cotton Kimono: Hidden Rabbits and Waves

$425.00 USD

early twentieth century
41" x 38", 104 cm x 96.5 cm (shoulder to hem x sleeve tip to sleeve tip)

Where to begin?

This is really special: it is a girl's padded cotton kimono that is exquisitely hand painted.

On its exterior are images of amazingly skillfully detailed scrolls, each one showing a "real" painting, expertly done, some of which have delicately and perfectly drawn kanji or Chinese characters that are meant to be ancient poems associated with the scene depicted on the scroll.

If you are lucky enough to see these paintings in person, if you decide to acquire this piece, you will surely be amazed at their beauty and skill. The images are rendered using a combination of the yuzen technique and hand painting. 

Studded on the surface at the top of the kimono, front and back, are a family crest, in this case we see stylized wisteria shaped as a roundel. Just beautiful.

At one point a fold around the center/waist area of the kimono was stitched in, probably to adjust the height of the little wearer of this kimono.

These are some of the details describing the outside of the kimono and more can be written about it, but it will be left at this.

The inside is equally marvelous for its hand painting.

Clearly the lining was borrowed from another garment as it has very obviously been reconfigured. The lining shows a watery blue scene of delicately portrayed rabbits crashing against ocean waves, a depiction that illustrates an old folk tale about rabbits and the sea.

There are four rabbits in all and hunting and finding them is great fun.

As can also be seen there are brightly colored cottons that edge the lining and these were meant to provide a show of flickering color as the girl who wore this kimono walked and moved.

What is more is that the sleeves are "layered" with several different types of cloth, a detail that is meant to be charming.

Please pore over all the photos here because each one aims to describe all aspects of this small kimono best as possible.

It is marvelous.

Very recommended.