A Length of Red Colored Meisen Silk: Dark Markings

$35.00 USD

mid twentieth century
61 1/2" x 14", 155 cm x 35.5 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 an all-over pattern--black and white figures on a vermilion ground-- that most certainly shows the influence of mid-20th century design as well as suggesting, perhaps, Chinese calligraphy.  Some ingrained creases from wear as well.

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

A Length of Red Colored Meisen Silk: Dark Markings