Museum quality Japanese kimono - uchikake wedding gown. The condition of this kimono is excellent, amazingly well preserved without damage or repair. The black area has different shades with a muddy black color, particularly on the sleeves and the middle section of kimono where the black gradually changes to white. The gown is thinly padded (silk wadding) throughout and feather light with very soft silk. The dimension: 50 1/2 inches sleeve to sleeve, 59 inches long. Not wearable, please.
When the peaceful life of Edo (1600-1868) continued without any major battles for years, people's life in general became more affluent. The merchant's economic power was getting stronger and there were some very wealthy merchants patronizing the different types of art. The Kabuki play came to be the most popular form of entertainment for the common people in the late Edo period.
What the government (Shogun) tried to do might be better explained if you have seen some Kabuki costumes. They are gorgeous, colorfully loaded with gold and silver threads. The government issued sumptuary laws one after the other trying to stop the extravagant lifestyle of commoners, particularly the merchant class who were socially ranked at the bottom; Samurai at the top, farmers, artisans and merchants followed after.
The government limited the use of gold and silver threads even to the extent of how intricate a weaving, tie dye or embroidery could be. It pushed people to look for alternatives and it even stimulated culture by bringing newer techniques. When the size of Hina dolls were limited, doll makers managed to put more detail and luxury into smaller dolls. This is how the Yuzen zome (paste resist dying method on silk) was born. Color bleeds on cloth but by outlining or covering the design areas with the paste repeatedly, the dye artists can work with the design more freely in detail. Commissioned by the weavers of Kyoto, Miyazaki Yuzensai, a popular fan painter, was said to perfected the paintings on silk fabric.
Here, you are looking at a beautiful example of painting on silk with Bokashi, gradual shade dying accented with brush strokes (dry and not-so-dry) and embroideries. The pine trees, plum trees, flying cranes, mino-game turtles on huge rocks by/in the ocean, are all symbols of the longevity and happiness.