A Length of Meisen Silk: Stylized Sunrises

$29.00 USD

mid twentieth century
48" x 14", 122 cm x 35.5 cm

This is a length of meisen silk, a kind of "everyday" silk that was developed in the Meiji era (1868 - 1912) at a time when Japan's strict sumptuary laws were lifted: these laws dictated what people were allowed to wear and consume (among many other things), notable among the strictures was a ban against common people wearing silk.

Meisen represents the democratization of silk in a changing Japan and it was consumed readily.  Its boom market prompted huge manufacture, which, of course, meant that countless new designs needed to be developed.

Many of the most interesting meisen designs are based on Western designs or were inspired by Western art, the best of which suggest a "Jazz age" feeling as this one does in the depiction of these stylized sunrises.

Meisen is a kind of machine aided kasuri cloth, the quality of silk being pedestrian as these were kimono that were not expensive and were meant to be worn on a regular basis as "town wear."

This panel is from such a kimono and it shows ingrained creases and a few faint, small stains, difficult to see and shown on the accompanying detail photographs.

A marvelous length of beautifully figured meisen silk in a classic, "jazzy" pattern.