A Meiji Era Child's Yuzen Dyed Kimono: Lavish Semamori
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
36" x 34", 91.5 cm x 86.5 cm
This is an old, child's kimono that seems to be woven of a silk and cotton mix. It is dyed in the yuzenzome technique, the yuzen dyed areas on the kimono are seen around the bottom--the strangely shaped, mythical rain dragons are hand drawn in gradient shades of blue, orange and grey.
The back shows two wonderful details: first is the family crest or kamon that appears at the nape and the two sleeves. Then there is a loosely stitched thread which is a semamori, a "magical stitch" that is applied on children's clothing in order to protect the child from psychic harm. Two semamori are also stitched onto the ties on the front of the kimono in the shape of facing, stylized pine needles. The orange silk tie is dyed in natural safflower or benibana.
There is a significant but lightly superficial patch of damage to the proper, front, right-hand side of the kimono, shown in the accompanying detail photos. As well there is a small hole to the top, back of the kimono, also detailed.
A really lovely and old child's kimono in fairly good condition.