Antique iro-tomesode w/ artist’s work and woven sayagata
A very special, very beautiful and very artisanal kimono. This iro-tomesode is heavy, weighing twice what a regular kimono does… it has a very lush, heavy white satin silk lining… there is a fine woven sayagata overall pattern to the silk fabric, and finally, the decoration is hand painted and signed by the artist. The colour is rich and elegant, a pinkish purple that is balanced beautifully by the gold and coloured decorations. The flowers, overhanging flowered branches, flowing water and the paired birds are rendered in exquisite style. This kimono has one mon or crest.
It is in excellent used condition, truly a well kept antique.
It measures 162 cm in length, is 65 cm from the centre of the neck to the sleeve edge, and the sleeve drop is 48.5 cm.
• Tomesode (留袖) is a type of kimono. It is a formal dress worn by married women.
Originally, there was a custom that the long sleeves of the Furisode were shortened after marriage, thereby creating Tomesode. This was because the long swinging sleeves would be impractical when the married woman worked in the kitchen. The word “Tomesode” itself consists of two kanji meaning “to fasten” (留) and “sleeve” (袖）.
Tomesode distinguishes itself from other kimono by only having patterns under the waistline. It has five or sometimes three family crests, or kamon, which indicates the formality of the kimono.
Kuro-Tomesode (black Tomesode) are often worn for wedding ceremonies by married female relatives of the bride or groom. The eri, obijime and obiage are always white, and the obi matches the colourful pattern of the kimono to signify a happy occasion. It is believed that the black colour is to match the clean white colour of the bride, as this kimono is rarely used at other occasions than weddings of near family members (sisters or daughters). A friend of the bride or groom would not wear Kuro-Tomesode, but Homongi or Iro-tomesode.
Iro-Tomesode (coloured Tomesode) is similar to Kuro-Tomesode except that the basic colour is not black and is now worn by both married and unmarried women. It is a semi formal kimono with the only exception; Iro-Tomesode with five crests will be considered as formal, thus, unmarried women who are not willing to wear Homongi or Furisode to a wedding of their family members or relatives can also wear this.
In the events held at the Imperial palace, it is strictly forbidden to wear Kuro-Tomesode as black is considered to be a colour of mourning.
• Mon (紋?), also monshō (紋章?), mondokoro (紋所?), and kamon (家紋?), are Japanese emblems used to decorate and identify an individual or family. While mon is an encompassing term that may refer to any such device, kamon and mondokoro refer specifically to emblems used to identify a family. An authoritative monreference compiles Japan’s 241 general categories of mon based on structural resemblance (a single monmay belong to multiple categories), with 5116 distinct individual mon (it is however well acknowledged that there exist lost or obscure mon that are not in this compilation).
The devices are similar to the badges and coats of arms in European heraldic tradition, which likewise are used to identify individuals and families. Mon are often referred to as crests in Western literature; another European heraldic device similar to the mon in function.
Kimonos can have one, three or five Mon on them, the most formal being five.
• Sayagata: the swastika is often found as part of a repeating pattern. One common pattern, called sayagata in Japanese, is made of of interlocking manji/swastikas, left- and right-facing swastikas joined by lines. As the negative space between the lines has a distinctive shape, the sayagata pattern is sometimes called the “key fret” motif in English.