Breathtakingly beautiful Japanese silk wedding kimono gown, Meiji/Taisho period, lined with the contrasting color red, very soft silk. It has a beautiful, rich texture woven in a mixture of flat, diagonal and shusu satin ori (weave). Under the sun, you can see the diagonal lines of woven gold threads crossing inside (photo #5). Gowns made in the early Meiji period are not only shorter but the colors are darker with a combination of earth tones (Shibui) comparing to brighter modern gowns.
The design is of Hoo (ho-oh) birds; a Chiness Phoenix in the background of paulownia leaves and flowers. The Hoo birds are a mythological bird known to appear in the time of peace and prosperity. The appearance is said to resemble a heron, eagle and peacock. They symbolize immortality, resurrection and life after death and they were the popular motif for every joyous occasion in Japan. The Japanese, at first, adopted a copy of Chinese design and later developed its own version. They have been associated with the Empress and her crest of kiri-no-mon (paulownia leaves) and had been used for many types of art, especially textiles and ceramics. Kakiemon often used this combination.
Dimensions are: 60 inches (5 feet, 152.4cm) long, 48 inches (121.9cm) in width, sleeves are 23 1/2 inches (59.7cm) long. The mannequin is adjusted to 54 1/2 inches (138.4cm) from the floor to shoulder.