Beautiful silk Japanese Uchikake (wedding kimono) from Taisho to Early Showa period, early 1900s.
When the peaceful life of Edo (1600-1868) continued without any major battles for years, the lives of the people became more affluent. The merchant's economical power was getting stronger. Some very wealthy merchants were even supporting the different types of art and their extravagant lifestyle was influencing all the social rankings. Threatened by their increasing power, the Tokugawa government tried to control it by placing sumptuary laws one after the other; they limited the use of gold and silver threads, even to the extent of how intricate a weaving or embroidery could be. It was then that textile merchants from Kyoto approached Miyazaki Yuzensai, a popular fan painter, and commissioned several paintings to cope with those changes. The dye on fabrics bleeds and Yuzen perfected the paintings on silk fabric by using the paste-resist method. With his method, the design was divided into smaller areas outlined with the past which enabled the artists to work freely with colors.
Here, you are looking at a beautiful example of a Yuzen-zome(dye) enriched with detailed embroidery and gold couching. The silk is as thin as a regular kimono. The bottom hem and the openings of sleeves are stuffed probably with raw silk. The color is deep cherry red, not the orange red as shown in the photos. The mannequin that we used when we took some of the photos has extremely narrow shoulders and was adjusted to the shortest height possible. Please note that this is a small gown. The condition of the kimono is excellent for its age but not recommended for wearing. The fabric is still in excellent condition but the threads usually weaken before the fabric does. The reversed side is a very soft silk with bamboo weaving pattern This gown is a good example of textile art treated as wall art.
The dimensions of this gown are 51 inches between tips of the sleeves, 63 inches long from the shoulder to the bottom, and the sleeves are 40 inches long.