Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Noh Robe

18th century

Compound twill brocade (Karaori): silk and metallic thread

L. in back: 146 cm (57 1/2 in.); with neck: H. 159 cm (62 5/8 in.); overall: W. 131.5 cm (51 3/4 in.); sleeve: approx. 35 cm (13 13/16 in.); front shoulder: approx. 21 cm (8 1/4 in.); neck band (eri): 12.5 cm (4 15/16 in.); back panel: 31 cm (12 3/16 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Jared K. Morse
1952.40.26

Elaborate, eye-catching costumes are crucial to Noh theatre. The costumes originated in the clothing of the fourteenth-century Japanese elite. Aristocratic families and the warrior class patronized Noh troops and gave them robes for support. Aristocrats sometimes even threw their outer garments onto the stage after performances to show their appreciation. The robe here consists of three different fabrics, recycled from <EM>karaori</EM> (stiff, thick textile for kimonos) and sewn together into a dazzling Noh costume whose metallic threads glint in the light. The wide body of the costume suggests that it may date from the eighteenth century.

Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Apparel/Costume
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

Loretta N Staples, A Sense of Pattern: Textile Masterworks from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1981), 18, no. 10, ill.

Handbook of the Collections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 309, ill.

Shodai Yasuemon Hori, Shouzou Masuda, and Masaki Miyano, Noh men: Kanshou to Uchikata (Tokyo: Tankousha, 1998), 1–207.

Tooru Nakanishi, Noh no Omote (Tokyo: Tamagawa Daigaku Shuppanbu, 1998), 1–132.

Stephen E. Marvin, Heaven Has a Face, So Does Hell: The Art of the Noh Mask, 2 vols. (Warren, Conn.: Floating World Editions, 2007), 1–403, vol. 1.

Claudia Brittenham, “The Gift of Cloth: Highlights of Yale’s Japanese Textile Collection,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 148–49, 152–53, ill. frontispiece, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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