Vintage Japanese Textiles:
1940s Arai Hari Used
Meisen Silk Fabric Piece
Width: 13.75 inches / 34.92 cm
Length: 56 inches / 144.78 cm
US$12.00 per piece
USA Shipping included under 4 pounds package weight
Fabric History/Pedigree: 1940's meisen silk fabric pieces received from traditional Japanese kimono cleaner / reconstructor called Arai-Hari -- see an excellent explanation of traditional Arai Hari by textile expert John Marshall,by click-pushing HERE.
Fabric Type: Lightweight Meisen silk; slight sheen; same on both sides; background is in small squares of 1/2 inch / 12.7m each which are in a symmetrical checkerboard in alternating colors of browns, moss-grenes, grays with black lines; Designs are six irregular blob shapes spaced irregularly lengthwise; the largest figure being 8 inches / 20.32 cm at longest dimension; as well as off-white borders to the shapes; inside the shapes are decorative pottery urns with curlicues and other accents; quite an unusual design, even for this period.
Cultural Notes: The best discussion we've found of Meisen silk fabric was on an old blog post by Japundit, excerpted here, from the early 2000's*:
"...Young women have rediscovered(Japan Times) the kimono, and you can see them out in Harajuku on the Sunday fashion parade. There's even a term for these girls -- not surprisingly they are called "kimono girls." There are even some nice books documenting the trend which you can check out at J-List and are definitely worth having if you are at all into fashion...."The meisen kimono, in particular, has become very popular. These kimono were made in the first half of the twentieth century, and were characterized by a glossy sheen, and brilliant patterns. There is often a sort of blurry quality to the silks...."