This two piece outfit, called a kamishimo, was the everyday formal wear of the Japanese samurai and would have been worn over a kimono. The upper garment, called a kataginu, is sleeveless with extended shoulders stiffened with paper. The two vertical panels at the front of the kataginu would have been tucked into the trousers, or hakama, which have narrow ties and a waist board designed to give support to the back. The pleats of the hakama, five in front and two at the back, are believed to symbolize the virtues of a samurai: courage, benevolence, justice, courtesy, sincerity, loyalty and honor.
Kamishimo are generally made of hemp rather than silk and are patterned using stencils. The family crest, or mon, of the samurai, resisted with paste and then brushed with pigments, appears on the front and back of the kataginu and the back board of the hakama. Our antique, authentic samurai kamishimo belonged to Ikeda Nagaoki (1915-Meiji era). It bares the Ikeda family mon (crest).
Provenance: Auctioned in the Osaka area. This is a unique collectors’ item, and authentic. Many different factors determine prices. First: age, rarity, and condition. Second: aesthetics. The Samurai were the Japanese warrior caste who dominated Japanese military power from the 12th to 19th centuries. At their peak the Samurai represented only 10% of the Japanese population, hence the rarity of this authentic kamishimo.
Condition: The condition is excellent for its very old age: a few color changes to yellowish brown, and stains like color changes in the front collar area and hakama. This probably came from an acid in the backing paper used to give a stiffer look in the front collar area. Item has not been cleaned or repaired. Item is sold in the same condition as found. Not wearable. Opt for a wall display. This item is not returnable. Please read our full disclosure.
Total length (shoulder to hem): kataginu: 27 inches (69 cm); hakama: 34 inches (89 cm).
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