Cranes In Flight With Ancient Turtles Surfacing Under A Mighty Pine On Textured Black Silk.
T’was the night before Christmas, all up in this bitch. And unsurprisingly, this bitch had an itch. With shochikubai, tsuru, and minogame; I pounced on this thing and screamed a mighty “GIMME.” But the fuck, the shit, I was to behold! From an American purchase, this thing adorned with gold. Not a stain, not a tear, only a few pulled stitches! Only a moment’s repair, and she’s mint condition, bitches!
I don’t often get to say so little about these things, honestly, I was expecting it to arrive in significantly worse shape than it did. Typically my domestic purchases are really fucky. They’ve been turned into fashion or bath robes, or they’ve been dragged through all kinds of things that make the momi (red lining silk) at the padded hem start to shatter. Sometimes they’ve been stored away for so long in plastic goddamn bags of all things that they have intense odors.
Sometimes the amazing embroidery has been mutilated and the best thing I can do is remove it before it starts eating the silk it’s affixed to. Sometimes the precious metal couching threads are barely hanging on and they’re pulled to the point that the silk core is exposed; at which point I can’t reaffix it, I have to replace the threads.
The point is, these are highly decorative and highly fragile items sometimes, and finding them in such fantastic condition can be difficult enough. Finding them in amazing condition stateside is just not a thing that happens to me too often, and this one is damn near perfect.
I found this delightful creature through a friend who showed it to me via Facebook Marketplace from way outside of my area. They were not listing it as an item for shipping, but I’ma be real with you, I saw these images and I slapped that “message seller” button so hard that it needs immediate medical attention for the fucking concussion that I just gave it. After a little conversation, and needing me to wait until after Thanksgiving to ship, I was able to make a deal and here she is. And let me tell you, these colors, that embroidery, this silk is just so candy goddamn sweet. And the fact that it was in damn near perfect condition on top of this? That there is a Christmas goddamn miracle.
It wasn’t much at all. Just a few tiny imperfections in the form of popped seams and an undone couching stitches. But really, that was it. LOL Ever do so many of these repairs that you don’t even bother to take it off of the iko to take care of them? I just left it hanging there and tidied up the stitching. The longest part to fix was in the armpit area under the sleeves. And legit, that area is so frequently popped that I am basically ready to do this repair every time I bring in a kimono.
Only about twenty minutes of repairs on this beauty.
Something I found to be very interesting is that this piece came with installed shitsuke ito (basting stitches which are meant to be removed) that were black and not white. I’ve never encountered any color than white before. Unfortunately, they had been pulled too tight over the years and were no longer doing their job. Instead, they threatened the integrity of the fabric, especially the lining. So it had to go. But I did take pictures of them before I did.
Those were the best photos I could get.
What you’re looking at, then, is a beautiful Meiji Era (October 23, 1868 – July 30, 1912) uchikake–the outermost garment of a bride’s wedding ensemble. The short sleeves are normal for this era. The heavily couched embroidery on a deep, beautifully soft and shiny jimon (pattern woven into silk) of tsuru (cranes). It features an amazing old growth matsu (pine) that is surrounded by branches of ume (plum blossoms) and leaves of sasa (bamboo), completing the shochikubai theme which is a great favorite of mine. A the hem, emerging from crashing nami (waves), we have four majestic minogame (old tortoises with moss growing from their backs).
In flight and at rest all around are tsuru, and it includes a special addition. Take a look:
What we have here is a nest with baby tsuru!
This evoked two thoughts from me. The first one was: YEAH HI IS THIS A SHOTGUN WEDDING.
The second thought was. Hold up. Those babies are…does this artist think that birds are born with whole ass flight feathers? What I literally said to the people I was talking to at the time was:
They just pimp they asses right out the egg all like, “WHAT’S GOOD, MAH. WHERE’S MY REGURGITATED WORMS. BECAUSE EVEN WITH THESE FULLY DEVELOPED FLIGHT FEATHERS AND CONTOUR FEATHERS, I CANNOT FEED MY DAMN SELF.”
For the record, a baby tsuru looks like this:
I don’t have too much else for you. I hope you enjoyed looking through the images as I did taking them. This one is short and sweet, and just a little fun as we settle in for Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.Thank you for spending some time with me today.
Join me next time when we’ve got more Meiji good times, and some amazing repairs coming.