Ao Aka Karakusa Kimono
Ao Aka Karakusa Kimono


Ao Aka Karakusa Kimono

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The popularity of arabesque pattern or Karakusa patterns dates from the second half of the Edo period (1604-1867). The patterns were first introduced into Japan during the Asuka (592 – 710) and the Nara (711 – 794) periods via trade with the Chinese mainland and is often combined with botanical motifs, although is not limited to that. The arabesque is an ornamental pattern consisting of intertwined flowing lines that originated in the western Asian region and gained popularity internationally after.

The original pattern was called Karakusa, it was followed by more decorative patterns of Renge and Ungyo, the latter of which was worn by court nobles, aristocrats and priests. With the advent of the Kamakura period (1192-1333) and with the samurai class gaining more and more power, the samurai began to use these patterned fabrics both for their everyday clothing as well as for their amour. 


These kimono likely uses the technique of Ukiyo-e. Ukiyo-e was established during the Edo period and was cherished as a form of mass entertainment by common people across Edo (present-day Tokyo). Its origin can be traced back to around the late 17th century. Its initial artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica. The term Ukiyo-e (浮世絵) translates as "pictures of the floating world".

Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints, the carver, who cut the woodblocks, the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto the final medium, whether paper or fabric.The 19th century also saw the continuation of masters of the ukiyo-e tradition, with the creation of the artist Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa, one of the most well-known works of Japanese art.

Care Instructions

  1. Dry clean (recommended) / Handwash.
  2. Store in cool and dry place away from direct sunlight without plastic covering to avoid trapping humidity and mildew
  3. Note: As with most vintage clothing, there might be slight stains and small holes dependent on the condition of the piece.