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Artwork Details

20th century
silk, brocade
12 in x 160 in (30.48 cm x 406.4 cm)
Gift of Howard and Patricia Yamaguchi

On Display

Not currently on display


Subject Matter:

This is a Nagoya Fukuro obi in otaiko gara.

Nagoya obi were first produced at the end of the Taisho era, and are shorter than the more formal fukuro and maru obi. A portion of Nagoya obi fabric is folded and stitched in half to make tying easier.

Fukuro Obi is double-layered  single sided obi in which two separately woven surfaces and back pieces of cloth are stitched together. This type of obi is typically only worn at weddings or other formal occasions.

Gara refers to the orientation, arrangement, and surface area of the patterns and pertains to a specific trend and obi tying style. The patterning in the Otaiko gara type is minimal. A few concentrated spots of patterned motif lie on the obi while the rest is left blank. This style was invented during the Edo period (1615-1868) by the female entertainers in Fukugawa, an entertainment district in present-day Tokyo.

Physical Description:

Black Nagoya Fukuro obi in Otaiko Gara with a rectangular image patched with horses and a tree and embroidered Japanese letters (partially illegible) "Edo Tokyo” and “New Year's Eve”.  Vertical thread for the rectangular image is untypical and almost resembles a rubber band.

Usage Rights:

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