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6808: 1930s-50s Japanese Meisen Silk 33 in. Piece(AraiHari)

6808: 1950s Japan Meisen Silk, long view

Catalog# 6808

1930s to 1950s Japanese Textiles:
From Arai-Hari Cleaners 
Japanese Kimono Meisen Silk Fabric Piece

(Children's Theme: Aesop's Fable, "Tortoise & Hare"
as Japanese Folk Song)

Width:14 inches / 35.56 cm
Length: 33 inches / 83.82 cm

US$10.00 per piece 

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Item Details and Description

  • Fabric History/Pedigree: 1930s to 1950s 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 Description:  Meisen silk, lightweight and slightly translucent, slightly stiff; a seldom-seen motif of Japanese rendering of the Aesop's Fable of the Tortoise & the Hare, in aJapanese folk song version (Usagi to Kame) that is traditionally sung to small children; Background is a dark red, with shapes of bunnies and turtles, as well as Japanese flags (for the flags waved at end of a race);  figures are rendered in white, with black outlines; Other colors: green, yellow, pink, red, and gray; note the intentionally fuzzy edges, typical of this period's Meisen silks. This piece same on both sides; no sheen. 

  • Colors: Please NOTE that colors and contrast differ on each device so use our text descriptions to complement your sense of the fabric).

  • Condition: Excellent

Background Information on Meisen Kimonos:

Meisen is defined literally in our Kenkyuusha dictionary as "...common silk stuff"; meisen fabrics (or garments made from them) are currently called 'meisen'; Meisen kimono were made similarly to kasuri (ikat) , though meisen usually have very colorful patterns with distinct -- often more modern -- motifs and a slight sheen; 1950s meisen have intentionally fuzzy, almost Impressionistic look and often larger designs; Kasuri/ikat, of course, is mostly indigo blue and some white with black. To learn more about kasuri click here.

To see pictures of meisen silk vintage kimonos from Google, touch HERE.
Other Cultural Notes: The best discussion we've found of Meisen silk fabric was on an old blog post by Japundit, excerpted here*:

"...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...."

[*original article has been pulled]

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$ 10.00

6808: 1930s-50s Japanese Meisen Silk 33 in. Piece(AraiHari)