Front, Kimono: Furisode with hi-ogi (Heian Imperial fans)


The Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore, Maryland, United States

A furisode or long sleeve kimono with brightly patterned fabric of a type worn by a young single woman or a new bride at her wedding reception. It is fashioned from white monochrome patterned silk satin (rinzu) with woven sayagata pattern consisting of swastika -- an ancient Buddhist symbol meaning longevity, a wild orchid (ran), chrysanthemum (kiku), and bamboo. The kimono is embellished with paste resist outline dyeing (yuzen), stencil dyeing (katazome), embroidery (nui), couched embroidery (koma nui), hand painting (kaki-e), and metal leafed decoration (surihaku)..
The most prominent pattern consists of Heian imperial fans (hi-ogi) -- each of which is composed of diverse multicolored, floral, and geometric motifs adopted from traditional Japanese textile designs. These designs are hand-painted, dyed using the yuzen-zome technique (a starch-resist process), outlined with metallic pigments, and outlined with couched gold and silver metallic-wrapped threads. They include kanoko shibori (fawn spot tie dye), kara hana (Chinese flowers), and other patterns. In addition, the Heian era symbols of kaioke (shell boxes), gosho guruma (nobleman's carriage), and misu (palace blinds) are depicted on the fans. Multiple ribbons of embroidered silk floss in various combinations of red-orange, purple, dark green, blue, peach, yellow, and white float across the open areas of the background, forming tied bows at the tips of the fans.
A secondary pattern called tatewaku (vertical undulating lines) with stylized "clouds of good fortune" is created using the surihaku technique (metal foil placed over adhesive) and metallic paints on both the robe and its red silk lining along the hem and on the edges of the lower half of the kimono opening.
A red padded hem protrudes about one inch beyond the white outer fabric.


  • Title: Front, Kimono: Furisode with hi-ogi (Heian Imperial fans)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1912/1940
  • Physical Dimensions: 72 1/2 x 49 1/2 in. (184.2 x 125.7 cm.)
  • Provenance: Gift of Mrs. D.M. Cheston, Baltimore
  • Type: Textile
  • Medium: Silk, Dye, Pigments, Gold and silver foil, Silk, gold, and silver metal-leafed paper strips wrapped around a cotton core embroidery thread
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. D.M. Cheston, Baltimore. BMA 1990.113
  • Artist date: Active 20th Century

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