This beautifully embroidered piece showcases chrysanthemum motifs as its main focus. The chrysanthemum represents longevity, rejuvenation and nobility in Japan. It is also the symbol of autumn, harvest and goodwill. It is possibly one of the most commonly used flowers in motifs, appearing in many forms and many variations.
Patterns showing just the flowers are called kikukamon; designs depicting chrysanthemums attached to stems are known as oriedakiku, and flowers standing upright are called tatekikumon. At times, the flowers are also rendered along flowing water, or against a fence.
The Chrysanthemum Festival, also known as Choyo or Kikuno-Sekku, is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month in the lunar calendar. Originating as an old Chinese custom that made its way to Japan, activities include drinking sake with chrysanthemum petals floating in it, believed to ward off malevolence and ensure a long life. During the festival, many also wear cotton that has been placed on top of the flowers overnight to soak up their dew.
This fabric uses a weave technique known as Nishijin Ori. Originating in Heian-kyōto over 1200 years ago, Nishijin weaving is known for its highly-decorative and finely-woven designs, created through the use of tedious and specialised production processes. It is well-regarded for the high quality and craftsmanship of the resulting fabrics, commonly used for high-quality obi and kimono. In 794, Heian-kyō became the new capital city of Japan, with the Imperial Court and the aristocracy moving to the city as a result; due to this, the production of nishijin-ori increased in order to supply the Court and the aristocracy.
After experiencing a surge in demand after the wars, and later on a decline due to crop shortages, and the moving of Japan's capital the production of nishijin-ori was halted until a resurgence in 1872. The production of nishijin-ori began to flourish once again, following a trip by some weavers to Europe in order to learn from the European weaving trade. During this trip, the weavers learned new techniques from the people of Europe, and adapted to the use of European weaving methods and machinery, such as the production of the Jacquard loom and the flying shuttle. By 1898, the Nishijin textile trade was well developed and encompassed the technology shared by the Europeans.
- Dry clean (recommended) / Handwash.
- Store in cool and dry place away from direct sunlight without plastic covering to avoid trapping humidity and mildew
- Note: As with most vintage clothing, there might be slight stains and small holes dependent on the condition of the piece.