A Rare Antique Ceramic Obidome of Okina - Meiji
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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1920: item # 1069014
Please refer to our stock # COLL 3392 when inquiring.
Ichiban Japanese & Oriental Antiques
Post Office Box 395
Marion, CT 06444-0395
This is a finely painted small ceramic obidome of the Noh drama character called “Okina”. Obidome, as was true for netsuke, were often imitations of full-size Noh masks. The piece is painted in thick enamel and is very detailed – from the stylized white eyebrows to the white beard that flows to the left of his chin.
An obidome is a small decorative accessory that is fastened onto obi jime. It is not used very often. Obijime is a string about 150 centimeters (4.9 ft) long that is tied around the obi and through the knot, and which doubles as decoration. It can be a woven string, or be constructed as a narrow sewn tube of fabric. There are both flat and round obijimes.They often have tassels at both ends and they are made from silk, satin, brocade or viscose.
Obi (literally "sash”) is a sash for traditional Japanese dress and a part of kimono outfits. There are many types of obi, and most of them are for women: wide obis made of brocade and narrower, simpler obis for everyday wear. The fanciest and most colorful obis are for young unmarried women. The obi for men's kimono is rather narrow, 10 centimeters (3.9 in) wide at most, but a woman's formal obi can be 30 centimeters (12 in) wide and more than 4 meters (13 ft) long.
The kimono is a Japanese traditional garment worn by women, men and children. The word "kimono", which literally means a "thing to wear" (ki "wear" and mono "thing"),has come to denote these full-length robes. The standard plural of the word kimono in English is kimonos, but the unmarked Japanese plural kimono is also sometimes used.
The obidome measures 1 ¼” high from the top of the head to the bottom of the beard – by 1” wide by 1” thick. It is in excellent condition – there is a small chip on the back of the piece at the top left – it cannot be seen from the front and does not take away from the face. We date the piece to the late Meiji period, circa 1885 – 1910.
Okina (or Kamiuta) is a unique play which combines dance with Shinto ritual. It is considered the oldest type of Noh play, and is probably the most often performed. It will generally be the opening work at any program or festival. The Okina mask takes its origin from the traditional Genryu style of Noh play called "Dance of Monkeys".