Past Exhibitions

Costumes of the Japanese Court
February 3, 2016 - March 13, 2016

When the Japanese imperial court was founded, its regulations and systems were based on prototypes from China, its revered and highly cultured continental neighbor. The official costumes adopted by the early court were accordingly based on official garments from China's Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties. By the Heian period (794–1185), however, Japan's aristocrats had developed a native style of court dress that better suited their natural environment, tastes, and customs. This exhibition features such Japanese court costumes, which are still used for imperial court rituals today. The garments on view include examples of the formal male ensemble (sokutai) and the iconic women's costume known as the "twelve-layered robe" (juni hitoe).

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