-ART DE MOD M IN
ART DECO AND MODERNISM IN JAPAN
The Samuel P Harn Memorial Exhibition
MARCH 8 MAY 17, 2009
MUSEUM OF ART S
University of Florida, Gainesville
TYPES OF KIMONO
Kimono are classified into various types that can denote the age, marital status,
and social standing of the wearer, as well as the occasion and season for which
they are worn.
Furisode: "Swinging sleeves;"
kimono with long, hanging
sleeves and small wrist openings
that is reserved for unmarried
young women and girls.
Haori: Jacket worn by men,
women, and children over a
Hitoe: Unlined kimono of silk.
Homnongi: Simplified version
of the furisode and tomesode
wvorn by single or married
v omen for visiting.
SJuban and naga-juban: Types of underkimono.
Katabira: Woman's summer kimono made of
s0oft i linen-like bast fibers.
Tomesode: Kimono with truncated sleeves;
the imost formal type worn by married women.
A bla,:k tomesode with five crests is the most
fol 11l 31, but colored tomesode are suitable for
fesive, dressy occasions.
Uchikake: Formal, full-length unbelted
:)be, often with a padded hem and
long, flowing sleeves. Worn for
.4l ceremonial occasions by women
of the warrior or noble classes
until the Edo period (1615-1868),
it has since become part of the
traditional bridal costume.
Since its inception in the eighth century, the Japanese kimono has proven to be
an adaptable and almost all-purpose garment. First known as a kosode ("small
sleeves"' a reference to the wrist openings), it became the main attire for all
classes and both sexes by the sixteenth century. The term kimono ("thing to
wear") came into wide use in the mid-nineteenth century.
The kimono serves both men and women in a variety of roles assumed through-
out life. It can be worn as casual, everyday dress or as formal wear for festive and
ceremonial occasions. The same basic pattern is used for men's, women's, and
children's kimono. The adult kimono is made from a piece of fabric 12 to 14
yards long and 12 to 16 inches wide. It is economical in its construction and
use of fabric as well as practical in its application. A kimono can be made of
a number of fabrics to be either warm or cool, and depending on the season,
weather, and occasion, it can be unlined, single-layered, or multi-layered. Air
passing through the loose, open sleeves ensures the wearer's comfort.
The kimono is wrapped left over right and held closed with an obi (sash). A
woman's obi wraps tightly several times around the midriff and ties in the back.
A man's obi wraps twice around the body slightly below the waist and knots in
the back. The kimono is worn long, nearly touching the floor; the length can
be altered by folding excess fabric under the sash. Its front-wrap style readily
adjusts to the body when the wearer sits on the floor in the traditional Japanese
manner, and can be easily rearranged after rising.
KIMONO TEXTILES AND TEXTILE TECHNIQUES
Kasuri: Japanese version of ikat. Bundles of the warp and/or weft threads
are tightly tied in places before being dyed so that these areas remain undyed.
The fabric is then woven and, since the threads shift slightly, the pattern outlines
Kata-yizen: Stencil-dyeing method developed in the late nineteenth
century. Chemical dyes mixed with rice paste are applied through stencils
directly onto the fabric, speeding up the dyeing process and allowing for the
creation of very precise, complex designs.
Kata-zome: A traditional stencil-dyeing technique. The pattern is created
by applying rice paste through a stencil to protect certain areas of the fabric
when the cloth is dyed.
Meisen: A machine-spun silk developed in the late nineteenth century, this
nubby plain-weave was thick and lustrous yet durable and inexpensive.
Designs on this fabric were often made with a new complex but affordable
technique in which the warp and/or weft threads were temporarily woven,
synthetic dyes applied through stencils, the holding threads removed, and
the fabric woven. Since the dyed threads shifted slightly during weaving, the
final designs were somewhat blurred.Meisen revolutionized kimono fashion in
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so the term also generally
describes the bold, modern kimono popular during this period.
Sarasa: A Japanese form of textile printing. A
variety of methods, including block- and stencil-
printing, may be used to imitate the printed Indian
cottons that Spanish and Dutch traders imported
to Japan beginning in the late sixteenth and early
Shibori: A resist- or tie-dyeing technique.
Before the cloth is dyed, areas of the fabric are
protected by folding, stitching, knotting, or other
methods. Specialized methods for shaping and
securing the cloth produce varied patterns and
a distinctive, raised texture.
Surihaku: A traditional method of applying
metallic foil to fabric. Paste is applied to the cloth
through a stencil, and gold or silver foil is then
pressed onto the partially dry pasted areas.
Tsumugi: Plain-weave silk that has a nubby,
dull surface because the hand-spun silk fiber is
obtained by processing defective cocoons.
YOzen: Complex and highly refined surface design technique. Developed at
the end of the seventeenth century, it can include hand-painting, rice-paste
resist-dyeing, stencil-dyeing, embroidery, and gold and silver leaf.
-F ++ I o II M =
ART DECO AND MODERNISM IN JAPAN
The early to mid-twentieth century was one of the most dynamic periods in
the history of the kimono. Although lifestyles were changing and concepts of
modernity were being defined, the kimono remained the daily dress of choice
for the majority of people in Japan. While some kimono created during this
time reflect the country's long-standing tradition of elegant designs made
with centuries-old techniques, many illustrate a dramatic break with aspects
of kimono tradition.
Kimono of the Taisho (1912-1926) and early to mid-Showa (1926-1950s)
periods combined reinvented traditional techniqueswith modern weaving and
dyeing technology. Western art and aesthetics were also reflected in designs,
with traditional motifs updated and new influences incorporated. Kimono
fashions for men were conservative but could include decorative jacket linings
and underrobes, while boys'kimono often utilized modern imagery. Above all,
the boldly patterned and brightly colored kimono of the period perfectly suited
young, independent women; wearing such a garment, a woman could be
glamorous, fashionable, and modern, but still Japanese.
This exhibition presents a selection of kimono from the internationally renowned Montgomery
Collection of Lugano, Switzerland. Prior to 2008 this exhibition was never before exhibited in North
America. It is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. The
exhibition is made possible locally by the AEC Trust.
Front cover: Woman's Kimono, 1912-26. Machine-spun silk plain weave with stencil-printed warp threads (meisen).
Inside flap and back cover: Woman's Kimono (detail), 1910s. Machine-spun silk plain weave with stencil-printed warp
and weft threads (meisen). Center spread (bottom, left to right): Woman's Kimono, 1930s-40s. Machine-spun silk plain
weave with stencil-printed warp and weft threads (meisen); Woman's Kimono, 1920s-30s. Machine-spun silk plain weave
with stencil-printed warp and weft threads (meisen); Girl's Long-Sleeved Underkimono (juban), 1912-26. Silk-rayon blend
crepe plain weave with direct-dye stencil-printing (kata-yuzen); Woman's Unlined Kimono (hitoe), 1920s-30s. Machine-
spun silk plain weave with stencil-printed warp threads (meisen); Woman's Kimono, 1920s-30s. Silkfigured satin with hand
tie-dying (shibori); (top right) Portrait, 1934, Japan (The International Hokusai Research Centre, Milan). All kimono are from
The Montgomery Collection of Lugano, Switzerland.
2008 Philadelphia Museum of Art
S.W. 34th Street and Hull Road, Gainesville, FL I 352.392.9826 I www.harn.ufl.edu
IJF I UNIVERSITY of