This silk kimono presents an exceptionally vibrant and daring interpretation of the popular 'yabane' (arrow feather) motif. It features a rinzu (damask) background with chrysanthemum and cherry blossom motifs in figured satin. Despite a few small stains, the dramatic design obscures them within its boldness.
The 'yabane' motif traces back to Japan's Heian era, initially associated with martial themes. Over time, it became prevalent on kimonos for ladies in waiting during the Edo era. In the mid to late Meiji period, it adorned schoolgirl and teacher kasuri (ikat) kimonos. During the Taisho and early Showa periods, 'yabane' motifs were popular in women's kimonos, created through shibori, stenciling, or yuzen-dyeing, often depicted vertically, as seen in this example.
The 'yabane' pattern, a versatile motif, holds auspicious wedding connotations: akin to an arrow shot from a bow, symbolizing the bride's departure from her parents' house, never to return. The bolder and more flamboyant yabane motifs on this kimono make it stand out among others. Such kimono, offering fresh graphic interpretations of traditional motifs, characterize some of the finest artistry of the Taisho and early Showa periods.