A Child's Padded Kimono: Kasuri and Itajime
ca. early to mid twentieth century
21" x 23", 53.5 cm x 58.5 cm
This lovely little thing is a vestige of the past, a real, tangible part of old Japan.
This is a child's kimono which is constructed from two different indigo dyed kasuri or ikat cottons, with a notable addition of a benibana or safflower dyed itajime or clamp-resist dyed panel on the shoulder area. This panel, faded from light exposure and with ingrained dirt, shows a pattern of white-on-orange cherry blossoms and hemp leaves, two very traditional Japanese design motifs. The kimono is lined in a faded, red-orange dyed cotton, and the entire coat is padded.
The contrast of the orange panel and the blue body is striking, as is knowing that this padded little cloak was once worn by a small child in the early part of last century.
It is an absolutely charming piece of Japan's traditional past, and a lovely thing to behold.