This boy's silk miyamairi kimono, used in a Shinto shrine coming-of-age ceremony, showcases yuzen-painting and freehand painting, with gold foil highlights. The main kimono is silk, while the lining is synthetic. It remains in good condition, with one tiny hole and light smudging on the front, along with minor smudging on the back and a relatively subtle light green area on the back-center (refer to images). It measures 36 inches (91 cm) from sleeve-end to sleeve-end and has a length of 38 inches (97 cm).
The theme depicted on this ceremonial kimono is inspired by the Kabuki classic "Renjishi," a dance rooted in a folk tale about a white-maned father shishi (a mythological lion-like creature) and his red-maned male cub, which is the focal point of this kimono. Blooming peonies are abundantly painted throughout. These spirits reside at the base of a revered Buddhist mountain. The tale narrates the nurturing of courage and strength as the parent challenges its young by kicking it over a ravine, anxiously awaiting the cub's climb back. With a great struggle, the cub successfully ascends, and both shishi proudly wave their manes, symbolizing the completion and success of the rite of passage. This story, fitting for a boy's coming-of-age garment, embodies the parents' aspirations for their son to embody strength and courage in life.
The peony flowers painted on this kimono align with the initial theme of the "Renjishi" story. Ancient beliefs considered the shishi and peony flower as an ideal pairing, symbolizing, respectively, the king of beasts and the supreme flower. The Renjishi theme on such miyamairi ceremonial kimonos is notably rare, enhancing the uniqueness of this piece.