Underkimono (?)
Hand painted with sumi, dyes and pigments; rice paste resist

This is one of a matched pair of kimonos for a boy’s omiyamairi (infant’s first shrine presentation) ceremony. This less elaborate piece is probably the underkimono. (See the April 20 post for the other half of the matched set.) Traditionally, the 47 ronin (masterless samurai) of the story Chushingura are depicted wearing saw-tooth patterned black and white coats. Here is the same saw-tooth pattern in white and beige.

The allusion made in the first robe to Oishi Kuranosuke, the courageous leader of the ronin, is continued here in the form of Oishi’s futatomoe (two commas) family crest, scattered among the saw-tooth points. Interestingly, also scattered among the saw-tooth points is the infant’s family crest. The implicit wish in the design seems to be that the child will grow up to be strong and virtuous like Oishi.

Like the previous robe, this robe has embroidery at the ties, but slightly less elaborate. Unlike the previous robe, this one has no osemamori stitching at the back.

Woodblock print depicting a scene of the faithful ronin from the story Chushingura, all wearing the sawtooth pattern.