A Katazome Dyed Cotton Koshimaki: Beautifully Figured Under Kimono

$245.00 USD

early twentieth century
32" x 41", 81 cm x 104 cm

This indigo dyed cotton katazome garment is a koshimaki or a kind of Japanese half-slip to be tied around the waist and worn under a kimono.

Koshimaki were placed or held behind the wearer and the ties of the garment were drawn to the front of the body where the ties were secured. If you are not familiar with koshimaki they appear to be some kind of apron but it is worn in the opposite way to an apron, by tying it in the front of the body.

This one is in very good condition, seemingly almost unused. the katazome cloth is abundant and beautifully complex in its patterning. 

The design shows plum blossoms in various forms, pine needles and cranes, all auspicious images that carry good meaning. Plum is a sign of courage as the blooms are first to appear and they break through winter ice. Pine and cranes both symbolize long life and conjugal fidelity. In the case of pine, the needles fall in pairs, in the case of the crane, cranes mate for life.

The border pattern is that of bamboo which is bent into circles. Bamboo is a symbol of resilience because it bends but does not break.

This koshimaki is not only rich in good symbolism it is also rich in a good amount of cloth of very good quality which is visually appealing.

Just beautiful.