Kosode (Kimono) with Kamo Shrine Horse Race Scene and Checkered Pattern in Yuzen Dyeing and Embroidery on White Crepe (Chirimen) Ground


Edo Period, 18th century

gallery notes: The upper section has a red checkered design using tie-dyeing, while across the lower half runs a scene from a famous horse race, the annual event held at the Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto, on May 5th. The minute details, such as white paste outlines and a rich variety of coloring, attest to the beauty of the Yazen-zome technique of the mid-Edo Period. The apparent disarray of maple leaves gives a feeling of the excitement of the crowd as they watched the mad dash of the two racers. Also, the technical contrast of the upper and lower decorative arrangement, coupled with the compositional ingenuity, reveals an elaborate sense of design. An ordinary Kosode in today’s society, the garment was originally meant for a child’s use.