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

Noh Robe with Checkerboards

late 17th century

Silk; compound brocaded twill (karaori) weave

59 1/8 in. (150.1 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
1951.12.33
Noh theater, the oldest genre of theater still in practice in Japan today, is a type of musical dance-drama that originated during the Muromachi period in the late fourteenth century and remained popular throughout the Edo period. The performances feature masked figures wearing elegant robes such as this one, the design of which reflects the Japanese taste for luxurious textiles. Multiple shades of brown and white form checkerboard patterns highlighting colorful, stylized woven chrysanthemums. The peachy areas sprinkled with brocaded peonies indicate that this robe was created for a female role, though all of the Noh actors are male.
Geography: 
Japan
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Apparel/Costume
Provenance: 

William L. Keane 1951; Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955) New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 261, no. 474, 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.