Important Cultural Property
Kyoto National Museum
Karaori is a weave with twill ground and brocading supplementary weft floats, which looks more like an embroidered textile than a woven one. The karaori weave on this colorful kosode is composed of a single 20cm square pattern block of snow-laden mandarins and floral lozenges, which is repeated twice across the fabric width and is inverted along the length. This piece exhibits characteristic elements of the Momoyama period, both in the composition of skillfully manipulated small-pattern repeats and in the wide body and narrow sleeve construction of the garment. The majority of extant karaori kosode from the Momoyama period have been passed down as costumes for the Noh theater; however, as evidenced by portraits and other paintings of the day, kosode such as this were worn on formal occasions as the outermost robes of high-ranking warrior-class women.