This is a striking Japanese uchikake, wedding gown. The design on this gown is the sacred pine tree, “Yogo no Matsu”, and golden clouds. Pines in gold or gold clouds are often painted on silk screens or used as the background for a noh play stage. The wall paintings in the Kyoto Nijo castle, Kyoto, which were painted by Kano, Tanyu (1602-74) when he was in his mid 20s, are quite famous.
There is no visible image of God in Shinto religion, the oldest form of religion in Japan. Naturally, people found the spirit of God in their surroundings. From the ancient times in Japan, God (deity) was said to be descended from pine trees and dwelled in them. The sacred pine tree(s) is called “Yogo no Matsu (pines).” Yogo (pronounce yoh-goh) means the appearance of God on earth. Even today, one can find sacred old pines designated to some shrines.*
The color of the gown is orange – red is showing too strong in almost all photos, thick sioze silk lined with red silk. The gold is applied (thick) on the fabric with a new technique; mixture of the gold powder and rubber like liquid. The gold clouds have kiri-kin (square pieces) like designs that were made to look like makie gold lacquer work. The color of the gold is softer than it appears (not so yellow) and has a powdery look. There are some crackles (runs in up and down) on the gold – this could have happened in an earlier time. The work involved in this must have been technically challenging and required lots of hard work. The way that the designs were dyed, matched, and sewn, is truly a work of art. A quality gown in new condition. Beautiful gown to wear and/or to decorate your wall. The measurements are 52" wide and 75" long.
* Here is the website with the photos of 600 years old “Yogo no Matsu” in Zenko-ji, Tokyo. http://kamisavil.blog40.fc2.com/blog-entry-34.html