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'Karaori' nō robe with design of flowers of the four seasons on sectioned red-and-white background

19th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    'Karaori' nô robe
    Place where the work was made
    Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
    19th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    silk and gold metallic thread supplementary wefts in a silk twill ground
    152.5 x 144.0 cm
    Purchased 2002
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    Costumes for nō performance embody the highest achievements in Japanese textile and are an important part of the art of the samurai class that dominated Japan for 700 years prior to the mid-19th century. Unlike kabuki, the commoners' theatre, nō plays were characterized by their spiritual intensity, traditionally performed only once at special occasions: festivals, dedication to the gods/ ancestral spirits, welcoming important guests and so on. Of all nō costumes, 'karaori' (Chinese weave) is considered the best because of its special quality: all patterns are woven instead of embroidered, a technique developed in imitation of Chinese textile. 'Karaori' robes with red colour are worn by performers in young female roles. The design, flowers of the four seasons, makes this piece particularly bright and attractive.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 5 publications