Kabuki costume (jimbaori)
Object Place: Japan
83.8 x 53.7 cm (33 x 21 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Silk 5/1 twill embroidered with silk and gold metallic wrapped thread
Not On View
Man’s dark blue silk Kabuki theater vest (jimbaori) with a rolled, turned down collar extending to the lower front edge and silk tie cords with tassels at the sides and front. The overall design is of undulating vertical lines (tatewaku) and scrollwork (karakusa) surrounding roundels containing pine, paulownia, dragons, phoenix, clouds, Chinese lions, peony, chrysanthemum, bamboo, plum and water. Also scattered are good-luck symbols and treasures including paired scrolls, jewels, horn cups, axes, keys and mallets embroidered in brown, green, white, yellow, blue, orange, pink, purple and gilt paper-covered thread. This vest is for the role of a general at court.
By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)
 Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.
William Sturgis Bigelow Collection