Yorke Antique Textiles

A collection of antique and vintage textiles from around the world

Item Details
Meiji period (1868-1912)
A tall geisha silk 'susohiki' - trailing kimono for dance - featuring yuzen-painted portraits of famous stage actors. Embroidery highlights. Five mon (family crests). 50" from sleeve-end to sleeve-end x 68" height. A 'susohiki' (trailing skirt) is a type of formal dance kimono worn by maiko (apprentice geisha) and geisha that is designed to trail on the ground. This example was worn by a geisha, as it has short, unpatterned sleeves. While all women's kimono are longer then the length of their body, modern kimono are designed to be folded over at the hip. Susohiki are not, so they are even longer and have a padded hem so as to drape more attractively. Another word for susohiki is hikizuri. Although both the dancing susohiki and wedding uchikake share the characteristic of having a padded hem, susohiki are designed to be worn closed in front and tied with an obi, contrasting to the uchikake, which is worn with front open without obi. This susohiki is decorated with famous kabuki stage actors, with a bamboo fence at the bottom, perhaps alluding to a specific performance. This example was an expensive garment to commission, and is obviously the work of a talented textile artist, and would have been worn by a senior and wealthy geisha of the day for important stage dance performances.
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