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"Old Friends" Meiji Antique Wedding Kimono (Uchikake)

"Old Friends" Meiji Antique Wedding Kimono (Uchikake)


Regular price $549.00
Regular price Sale price $549.00
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  • Ships from NY
  • One-of-a-kind
  • Sourced from Japan

This listing is for an antique Japanese wedding kimono (uchikake) from The Fuller Collection. See below for details on the provenance of this beautiful garment.

This kimono is a very antique version of the type of uchikake we typically see. We believe it is from the early Meiji Period (late 1800s) because the design is clearly governed by the sumptuary laws of the Edo period, which restricted the display of wealth. This uchikake features a "mirror" design, where similar motifs appear on each front panel, even though the right side would be completely covered by the left when it was worn.

Another issue supporting the age of the kimono is the thin, satiny silk, which was common at that time and nearly impossible to duplicate. Black was also commonly used for wedding kimono then as well. (Side note: Using iron in black dye sped up the process and reduced the cost of creating black silk, but this contirbuted to a disintegration of the threads over time. Iron was very likely not used to make this kimono black because it has been preserved so well - which suggests the original owners were a very wealthy family who could afford the extra cost.)

The mirrored motif is "Three Friends of Winter" - bamboo, pine, and plum blossom - all embroidered with thicker threads that what we see in more contemporary versions. The handwork is excellent and completely entact.

The five large embroidered crests also have a complicated motif - bamboo and birds - that we have never seen before.

There is some shattering of the delicate red silk lining along the padded hem of the kimono - see photos. Otherwise, the rest of the lining and black silk is in excellent condition. Slightly smaller than more contemporary versions. 

We offer sturdy wooden rods for hanging these dazzling displays - see options below.

The Fuller Collection – originally over 2000 kimono – was the passion and pride of Richard Fuller of Chicago, IL and Wabasha, MN. Richard served as a US Marine in post-war Japan, and there began his love of and appreciation for vintage Japanese kimono – especially wedding kimono. Richard saw that the mastery and artisanship of traditional Japanese textile techniques was waning – threatening to die out altogether – which sparked his mission to promote this industry and preserve what he could. Click here to read one of his interviews.

Together with his wife Janith, Richard invested in thousands of kimono and obi, opening Wind Whisper West, a kimono gallery in Wabasha, MN in 2003. Most of the collection was sold there, but several hundred pieces remain. Richard passed in 2020, and Janith has consigned the remainder of the collection to Kyoto Kimono to offer through our website. We are honored and proud to be stewarding the Fuller Collection as each piece finds its new home and continues to bring wonder and beauty to admirers around the world.

Length: 60"
Width: 52"
Body/Hips: 46"
Made In (Estimated): 1920s
Condition: Very Good Vintage
Fiber: Silk
Technique: Embroidered
Colors: Black, Multi
Motifs: Bamboo, Ume, Three Friends


Low stock: 1 left

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