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Textiles and Costumes

Dobuku Coat with Tsujigahana Designs of Paulowinas, Arrows and Sliding Doors

  • Length: 115.2 cm
  • Sleeve length: 57.9 cm
  • Momoyama period (16th Century)
  • Important Cultural Property
  • IK 430

According to legend, Nanbu Nobunao gave one-hundred horses and fifty hawks as a gift to ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the battle of Odawara in 1590. He is said to have received a wakizashi sword and a various garments in return. In 1896 this dobuku coat owned by the Nanbu family was identified as one of Hideyoshi's thank-you gifts.

The coat has a three-part, doaki composition on a white ground. The shoulder section is dyed in a purple tsubotare design. The lower section has a yabusuma (arrow-doors) design that sharply divides it from the upper sections. The white, central ground is scattered with paulowina flowers.

All designs are rendered on a white ground with the painstaking, tsujigahana method of tie-dyeing. No supplemntary painting or printing has been added. This spectacular work is evidence of the bold confidence artists had in the Golden Age of Tsujigahana.

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