Noh Costume (Mizugoromo)

Date: 19th century

Culture: Japan

Medium: Plain-weave bast fiber, ramie warp and hemp weft

Dimensions: 43 3/8 × 64 1/2 in. (110.2 × 163.8 cm)

Classification: Costumes

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2002

Accession Number: 2002.386


The mizugoromo (literally, "water garment") is a type of three-quarter-length overgarment made specifically for the Noh stage, where it is worn for many types of roles: male and female, old and young, priest and layman. This mizugoromo, strikingly modern in appearance, is made of an intentionally distressed plain-weave cloth, termed yore in Japanese. Yore, a very open textile with displaced wefts that are not perpendicular to the warps, gives a ragged or threadbare impression to the garment. For this reason, the yore mizugoromo is frequently worn for roles of suffering ghosts or the destitute.