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Now on View
Collection Exhibition
Tagasode Screens: The Kimono as Painting Theme
November 13th, Thursday - December 23rd, Tuesday, 2014
Closed Mondays except October 24th
Hours 10 am to 5 pm
(entrance closed at 4:30 pm)
General admission Adult 1000 yen, Student 800 yen
Gallery 1
 "Whose Sleeves?" - Indeed, there is in fact a painting theme with such an odd name. Popular since the early Edo period, Tagasode (“Whose Sleeves?”) paintings are genre paintings that depict kimono and other traditional Japanese garments hung over clothing racks, ikō, or folding screens in a room without the wearer. By peeking into hidden rooms and admiring the garments left there, Tagasode’s multi-layered tricks evoke traces of the presence of the unknown wearer. You may even sense the perfume arising from her kimono.
 This exhibition presents three of such highly decorative yet mysterious Tagasode screens from the Nezu Museum’s collection, together with Bijin-ga, literally “beautiful woman paintings”. We offer this exhibition as an opportunity to cherish the sumptuous genre paintings of the Edo period with a special emphasis on the beauty of the costumes.

Gallery Exhibits

Tagasode (“Whose Sleeves?”) Screens, Clothes on Racks
Japan Edo period, 17th century
Nezu Museum
From right to left, various designs of kimonos hung over the racks, ikō, including the heavily woven tortoise-shell pattern Karaori and colorful cherry blossom-like pattern of the Furisode, a long sleeved kimono for young maidens. With a Japanese backgammon table, sugoroku, a writing box and a writing desk with books, this is a good example of the “still-life” aspect of Tagasode screens.
Tagasode (“Whose Sleeves?”) Screens, Clothes on Racks, with Beauty
Japan Edo period, 17th century
Nezu Museum
The term Tagasode refers to paintings that depict kimono and other traditional garments hanging over clothing racks or folding screens. This painting presents hanging kimonos and human figures, and is thus thought to date from the transitional period at the start of the Tagasode pictures trend.
Important Art Object
Courtesan and Tow Warriors
Japan Edo period, 17th century
Nezu Museum
This triptych set of hanging scrolls shows a courtesan with her attendant being observed by two men. The abstract setting, adorned with gold, is the perfect background for this symbolic rendering of love rivals.
A Beauty
By Miyagawa Chōshun
Japan Edo period, 18th century
Nezu Museum