Antique Kimono Taisho Period Geisha Hikizuri Trailing Kuro Tomesode 69” Long
Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing
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This is a gorgeous silk crepe kimono that I believe dates to the Taisho period (1912-1926), although it is possible that it is late Meiji period. The kimono is known as a trailing Kuro Tomesode or a Hikizuri, a kimono that was meant to be worn “dragging” on the floor behind the wearer. The kuro tomesode was a garment that was worn by married women to formal occasions such as weddings, however, these trailing hikizuri were generally worn by geisha, although younger women also might have worn them. The term “hikizuri” simply means “to drag and rub” in Japanese and refers more to the way that the garment would be worn - it is still a kuro tomesode, but because it would be worn to trail on the floor, it is called a hikizuri. The main determinant is the length of the kimono - for instance, a shorter tomesode could be a hikizuri if the person was short and the kimono would drag on the floor. Japanese women, especially of that time, tended to be short, probably 5 foot or less tall, so most tomesode would have a length of 56” to 62”. This tomesode has a length of 69 1/4”. The hemline has a narrow strip of padding inside of it, which would aid in the movement of the bottom of the hikizuri when a Geisha performed dance moves. The design features flowers and small boats on the water dyed in the “yuzen” and “shibori” techniques. There is also some metallic accenting, which I believe is called “surhaku”. The design continues onto the interior of the kimono, an indication that this was a higher end tomesode. The five family crests (kamon) appear at the upper area of the kimono, two across the front and three across the back - five crested kimono were meant for the most formal of occasions. The design is accented in gold paint and accent embroidered with silver and gold colored metallic thread. The kimono is lined in red silk.
Sizing: This should fit a medium size to large size - please rely on the following exterior measurements for fit, taking the style of the kimono into account (compare measurements with a similar kimono that you presently own or to your own body measurements, taking the cut of the garment into account):
Shoulders: 27” across the top from shoulder seam to seam
Sleeves: 13” long from shoulder seam
Sleeve drop: 22”
Bust: 54” around, taken under the arms, with a normal overlap at the neckline closure
Overall length: 69 1/4”, measured flat
Condition: It is in very good condition except for some minor defects. There are two very small fray spots or separations to the silk at the upper back (see second to last close-up photo), quite minor. Also there are two flowers whose gold thread is loose and unravelled (see thirdd to last close-up photo). There is a small tear to the interior fabric near the opening (see last close-up photo). Finally, there are a few tiny holes in the red lining, all in the same area (see fourth to last close-up photo). Otherwise, this kimono has been very preserved over the years and any defect is easily reparable.
This is a beautiful example of a 1920s era Kuro Tomesode Hikizuri Kimono. Wearable art or just a gorgeous display piece.