Broadcast on September 3, 2015
Available until March 31, 2029
The beauty of the traditional Japanese women’s garment, the “kimono”, rests largely in the patterns on the fabric. Some are treated as a canvas and the artist paints a picture directly onto the cloth. The priceless kimono introduced in this program exemplifies the method. It was painted by the great eighteenth century artist Ogata Korin. Depicting elegant wild autumn flowers in restrained colours and simplified forms, it perfectly conveys Korin’s exquisite design sense. Korin was born into one of Kyoto’s most renowned kimono-making houses but, for some reason, hardly ever engaged in kimono design. He painted this kimono after moving to his new base in Edo in his forties. We consider the background factors that gave birth to this masterpiece, ranging from the fashion of the times to construction of the new city.