Silk crepe (chirimen)
Neck edge to hem: 79.1 cm (31 1/8 in.); Across shoulders: 128.6 cm (50 5/8 in.)
L. E. Holden Fund 2020.66
Crepe results from the weft thread being kept tighter than the warp thread during weaving.
With its many long arms, the octopus lends itself to a tantalizing design, with the front of this garment displaying tentacles and the back revealing the face. An octopus motif sometimes appears on costumes for the role of the Catfish Priest, a sidekick of the main villain in the Kabuki play Shibaraku (Stop a Moment!). It is also seen in genre painting during the 1600s as a logo on the uniforms of transportation staff, perhaps indicating just how much they can carry. This jacket may have recycled the idea as a fashion statement.
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