Antique meisen silk kimono with v/large manji pattern
A very bold, unusual manji patterned meisen silk kimono. It is black with a bright yellow manji pattern woven into it. There is a lower lining in bright blood red.
The overall condition is good, some minor starch spotting in the lining and small flaws as noted, it is very wearable or can be used for display.
It measures 152 cm long, is 124 cm from sleeve to sleeve edge, the back width is 57 cm, and the sleeve drop is 46 cm.
It’s a really striking piece and quite unusual.
• Meisen: Meisen silk, generally crisp and supple, is one of the Japanese silks fabricated by weaving pre-dyed threads, utilizing the tie-and-resist ikat technique (ikat is an Indonesian term widely utilized to refer to this technique).
In this process, the threads, silk or cotton, are first stretched on a frame. Selected design areas are tightly bound to prevent the dye from penetrating and the hanks of threads are immersed in the dye pots. The bound portions of the yarns resist the dye and when woven, as a result of the threads not being perfectly aligned, create shapes with charmingly uneven edges.
Other Japanese textiles that are made with variations of this technique are cotton kasuri,omeshi silk and tsumugi silk. (described below).
Meisen silk was a popular fabric for casual kimono from 1910 to 1950, in part because it was more affordable, and in part because the designs, frequently drawing on Western influences, seemed adventurous and innovative. Even today they retain a contemporary sensibility.
• Manji: Also called mangi and saaya, buddhist cross in the form of a swastika that stands for good fortune, luck and well being, a symbol of plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life. It also signifes Buddha’s footprints and the Buddha’s heart. The swastika is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images. It is also the first of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha. It is often used to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts.