Noh costume (atsuita) with clouds and hexagons, Edo period (1615–1868), 19th century
Silk twill damask with silk brocading wefts and supplementary weft patterning in metallic thread; H. 65 in. (165.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.88.3)
Large clouds and flower-filled hexagons seem to float on the subtle geometric ground of this robe, which exemplifies the layering of patterning that is common in woven Noh costumes. In addition, the overall patterning of this robe features alternating blocks of color termed dangawari, a type of layout that was popular in nontheatrical dress during the sixteenth century, when it was adopted into Noh costume design. The dangawari layout persisted in Noh costumes throughout the Edo period even as it largely disappeared in fashionable dress.
The atsuita is a kimono-shaped Noh costume usually worn under a large-sleeved (ôsode) cloak or jacket for male roles. Like the karaori costumes usually worn for female roles, atsuita robes are patterned in the weave, but by comparison their patterns are generally bolder and more geometric.