Orizuru Tomesode. Mid to late Meiji period (1880-1911), Japan. The Kimono Gallery. A silk kuro-tomesode featuring intricate stringed paper-crane motifs worked with yuzen resist dyeing, brush-painting and surihaku gold-foil outlining. One unusual feature is a double, heavy silk lining, so obviously this garment was intended for winter use. Five mon (family crests). The orizuru (ori- “folded,” tsuru “crane”), or paper crane, is a design considered the most classic of all Japanese origami, and was first illustrated in one of the oldest known origami books, the Hiden Renzuru no Orikata (1797). According to Japanese lore, folding 1,000 Origami Cranes is truly a labour of love. Tradition holds that the bride who finishes this task, called ‘sembazuru’, before her wedding day will be richly rewarded with a good and happy marriage. Paying homage to the majestic crane, which mates for life and is said to live one thousand years, the bride ensures her own good fortune. The many origami cranes created on this kimono are meant to represent the thousand. Kuro-tomesode (black tomesode) are often worn for wedding ceremonies by married female relatives of the bride or groom.
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