A Child's Boro Cotton Kimono
ca. early to mid twentieth century
30" x 30", 76 cm x 76 cm
This boro kimono belonged to a child--and in the photos accompanying this post we are showing the kimono's inside "lining" as it is the lining where the dramatic piecing, patching and mending of cloth can be seen.
The proper exterior of the kimono is sewn from handsome, subtle, checked and striped cottons, mostly brown in color and all close in value to each other.
The inside, however, is a marvelous smattering of brightly colored plaids, bold checkerboard cotton kasuri or ikat cloth, and some purple/blue cotton pieces. Of course there is a good amount of wear to the inside and out, as this kimono was worn hard by a child--or, maybe more realistically, by several children in one family.
Boro children's garments are often beautiful and heartrending, as this one is. Still, as touchingly beautiful as this garment is, it is also a marvelous memory from old Japan, where cloth was valued and where garments were sewn from recycled cotton cloth.