Juban. Early to mid-Meiji period (1868-1900), Japan. The Kimono Gallery. A fine silk juban (underkimono) featuring the rare motifs of ‘Suzume Odori" (Sparrow Dance). Painting on silk. The Sparrow dance originated about four hundred years ago - in 1603 - as an improvised dance by drunken Osaka-based stonemasons at the formal celebration in the presence of the area’s lord Date Masamune in honor of the construction of Sendai Castle. With its upbeat tempo, energetic movements and hopping dance which resembles sparrows pecking their food, and because the family crest of Date is “bamboo and sparrow”, the dance came to be called “sparrow dance”. This is the only extant 19th century Sparrow dance kimono that we have come across. It was likely created and worn in the Sendai area in northern Japan, the homeland of the Sparrow Dance tradition.