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Vintage Kimono Showa Period Geisha Hikizuri Trailing Kuro Tomesode


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

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This is a lovely kimono that I believe dates to the pre-war Showa period (1926-1939), although it is possible that it is post-war.  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 by today’s standards, probably 5 foot or less tall - this tomesode has a length of 60” at the back, so would trail for most women up to at least a height of about 5’2”.  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 decoration is made in a bow design that is made up of strips of gold thread woven fabric applied with gold metallic thread.  The five family crests (kamon) appear at the upper area of the kimono, two across the front and three across the back - in the case of a Geisha, the crests would signify the Geisha house.  Tomesode with five crests would have been reserved for the most formal occasions.  The kimono is lined in white fabric that I believe is silk and I believe that the kimono is also made of silk.  There is a paper label affixed to the lining on the interior of one sleeve (see close-up photo) - it has some Japanese characters on it, but I don’t know what they say.

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: 25” across the top from shoulder seam to seam

Sleeves:  13” long from shoulder seam

Sleeve drop:  20 1/2”

Bust:  50” around, taken under the arms, with a normal overlap at the neckline closure

Overall length:  60”, measured flat 

Condition: It is in very good condition with no notable defect - this kimono looks like it saw little or no use, something supported by the still present affixed label.<br>

This is a lovely, understated example of a Showa period Kuro Tomesode Kimono. Wearable art or just a gorgeous display piece