A Lightweight Silk Pieced Underkimono: Yose Juban
early to mid twentieth century
48" x 44", 122 cm x 111.5 cm
This brightly-colored, wildly patterned lightweight silk garment is the exterior of what was a lightly padded yose juban or a pieced under kimono. What is missing from the original is the thin layer of cotton batting that was inserted between this outer shell and the juban's lining.
In old Japan undergarments were sometimes elaborately colored or pieced of richly designed cloth because flashy clothing was not meant to be shown to the public. However, what was worn under a kimono was a different story.
Often yose juban of this sort were dyed using purple, blue, green and orange colors as this one is, however in older examples the dyes would have been botanical, whereas this one, it appears the dyes are synthetic. However, traditions die hard, no pun intended, and that customary colors were continued on being used after the introduction of chemical dyes says something about the Japanese love of convention.
This entire garment is hand stitched, and the edges are unfinished. Here and there are some areas that show sprays of small holes, two such areas are shown in the accompanying detail photographs. Have a look at the fragments of very nice shibori dyeing on the garment's sleeves.
A wonderfully spirited old garment to display or to study. Just gorgeous.