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Supavee (Elle) Pinyovitayawong Historic Textiles GNST 1420 Deborah Young

Japanese Textiles in Meiji Period (1868-1912)

Kimono, obi, and yogi are three examples of many Japanese garments that associated with intricate textile designs depicted ranging from mythical animal, floral to landscape as well as auspicious symbols for instance, iris flower, hare, mountain, pine, plum and water as illustrated in the textiles of Wedding Obi, Kimono in the Taisho Mode and Coverlet in a Kimono Form. All of these garments were valuable for those who possessed them since it was created in a very sophisticated technique for special occasion for example, wedding and part of wedding trousseau, demonstrating their social status to society. Motifs symbolize beliefs and meanings. However, one motif can be indicated to more than one meaning depending on the occasion. Moreover, motifs and colors indicate economy, status, and wealth. Emperor Mutsuhito: ended of Meiji Restoration. Japan opened to foreign trade that affected the design of kimono (color and pattern) which reflecting the changing culture of Japan as it moved into the modern era. (Kimono in Taisho Mode as an example) Kimono in Taisho Mode. 1868-1911, Mid Meiji Era. Japan. Technique: Dyed and Hand woven Symbolism/Significance: Iris Blossoms symbolizes purification. Influence: General outward-looking attitude of society during the Meiji Era and from poetry and painting from early times. Fiber/Fabric: Meisen Silk Contemporary Use: Still a kimono but only in special occasion. Technique of resisting patterns using rice-paste resist techniques developed by the eighteenth century creating a graphic design showing the creativity and uniqueness of Japanese dyers. (Coverlet in Kimono Form is an example.) Coverlet in Kimono Form (Yogi): 19th Century, Meiji Period. Japan. Technique: Freehand paste-resist (Tsutsugaki) on woven cotton Symbolism/Significance: Hares on waves and three mandarin orange blossoms. Influence: Ancient Chinese bronzes, Noh play and Japanese myth. Fiber/Fabric: Cotton Contemporary Use: Night coverings. New weaving technique achieved through the use of jacquard loom was imported and introduced in 1873 as seen in Wedding Obi, silk and silver-wrapped thread. Wedding Obi. 19th Century, Meiji Period. Nishijin, Japan. Technique: Jacquard Weave Symbolism/Significance: Paired mythical phoenixes symbolize conjugal happiness. Pine and plum symbolize the virtues of fortitude, courage, and resilience. Influence: Animal (as a symbol), landscape of mountains and waves. Fiber/Fabric: Silk and silver-wrapped thread Contemporary Use: Household decoration as a table running or hanging. Techniques and motifs are varied influenced from France to China and developed to use in garments for different occasions and in trading. Bibliography: Dusenberry, Mary. Flowers, Dragons and Pine Trees Asian Textiles in the Collection of the Spencer Museum of Art. New York: Hudson Hills, 2004. Print. "Japanese Textile Art | Framed Art." Japanese Textile Art | The Textile Art Collection. Web. 29 July 2009. <>. Rathbun, William Jay. Beyond the Tanabata Bridge Traditional Japanese Textiles. London: Thames & Hudson, 1993. Print.