Ao Tsuru Kimono
Ao Tsuru Kimono
Ao Tsuru Kimono
Ao Tsuru Kimono
Ao Tsuru Kimono


Ao Tsuru Kimono

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This kimono is named Ao (blue) Tsuru (crane) after its lavish design.  

The main elements on this piece are the Cranes, which are considered mystical birds and are known for their noble elegance. The notion that they have a long life goes back thousands of years. Cranes live by clear water instead of gathering in forests, unlike regular birds, this led to them being referred to as “lords of feathered creatures”. Linking back to China, the characters referring to the Crane express the concept of flying among the clouds, and are used to represent outstanding personalities who have transcended the heights of ordinary people. 

In recent years, the unkaku-mon pattern, which combines clouds and cranes, has been reserved for the robes of the Imperial family. They also appear as auspicious symbols on wedding garments and bridal hair pins, and occasionally represent the symbol of perpetuating a family line when they are depicted building a nest together. 


This piece uses a Yuzen Resist Dyeing technique to create its motifs. A dyeing technique invented in 17th century Kyoto, a mixture of rice paste and soybeans is used to draw free-hand linear motifs on white silk. An artist would then squeeze the paste through a funnel-shaped container much like a small pastry bag. After the paste resist dries, he paints the areas on both sides of the lines with brushes, using the desired dye colors.

Delicate shaded effects can be created, and the rice paste outlines prevent the dye from seeping into surrounding areas. The most characteristic features of kimono ornamentation made in this way are subtle color gradations and narrow, flowing light lines that outline the motifs. 

When all of the painting is finished, the worker steams the kimono silk to set the dyes, and washes out the rice paste. Because of the time involved and the artistry required, yuzen dyed kimono have always commanded high prices. They were often commissioned by special clients. 

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.