|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
| Lit. whose sleeves?. Painting theme depicting beautiful kimono 着物
draped across a wooden rack, ikou 依桁. The subject was usually painted on
folding screens *byoubu 屏風
and became popular in the late Momoyama and early Edo periods.
Although the subject is highly decorative, the word tagasode has deep literary
connotations and probably originated from a line in KOKIN WAKASHUU 古今和歌集
(905): Iro yorimo/ka koso aware to /omohoyure/tagasode fureshi/yado no
ume zomo 色よりも/香こそあはれと/おもほゆれ/誰が袖ふれし/宿の梅ぞも. Tagasode often implies
a beautiful woman whose absence is missed, since beautiful sleeves are thought
to evoke the image of an elegant woman and the fragrance arising from her kimono.
In early examples, typical objects belonging to a room in the pleasure quarters or even a beautiful woman herself were depicted; a screen in the Burke Collection, New York (early 17c), includes a musical instrument, koto 琴, while two young women are painted on early 17c screens in the Nezu 根津 Museum, Tokyo. Variations on the tagasode theme became more removed from literary associations, and finally the kimono and stand remains as the only motifs depicted against gold foil background. There are many examples from the Edo period, often by unknown genre artists.
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