[Kosode] (Garment with small wrist openings) Design of waves and mandarin ducks on a black figured-satin ground
Kosode are predecessors of the modern-day Japanese kimono. The name kosode derives from the small wrist openings of the garments.
Mandarin ducks frolic between the waves. They are rendered in embroidery and tie-dyed dots. Several pointed shapes sweep in an arc-like fashion toward the upper left. What do you think they are?
From the net-like checked pattern, they are thought to be stylized depictions of fishing nets hung out to dry on the shore by fishermen. However, they all curve in the same direction and are fringed with gold embroidered sections on the left, so they also resemble high waves. Furthermore, the green, grassy motifs sprouting here and there conjure up images of bamboo shoots.
This playful design offers up a new perspective with each viewing.
This dynamic composition, with its empty space on the left-hand side, is characteristic of kosode from the Kanbun era, which lasted from 1661 to 1673.