A Length of Meisen Silk: Tatewaku

$35.00 USD

mid twentieth century
57" x 13 1/2", 145 cm x 34 cm

This is a length of lightweight 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.

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 a vertically-oriented traditional Japanese design called tatewaku.  Some small clusters of faint stains such as can be seen on the last of the detail photos which accompany this post.  Some ingrained creases from wear as well.

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

A Length of Meisen Silk: Tatewaku