The haori is a men’s garment typically worn over a kimono. Unlike the kimono, it is not secured by an obi, but by thin chords. Although it began as a piece worn by only men, geishas began wearing them over their kimonos in the 17th century to show that they could be as skilled in the arts as men. In the 19th century, the garment became a vessel to show the man’s family crest at special occasions, as seen on this haori on the chest, center back, and sleeves.
The inner lining is the most elaborate part of this piece. In the Edo period, Japanese commoners weren’t allowed to wear elaborate clothing, so they hid the beautiful silk designs on the inside of their garments. The pictorial section on the lining is woven silk and metallic threads. The image has two sections in fan shapes that show a mountain and two men that appear to be hunting or farming. The bottom left corner shows a tent-like structure with a different crest on it.
Circa: Early 20th Century
Dimensions: 51" sleeve to sleeve, 40" length
Inventory number: WR2854