Festival Kimono, Akita Prefecture, Tōhoku region, Honshū. Late 19th-early 20th century. Cotton; shibori (shape resist) 51 × 50 inches (129.6 × 127 cm)
“The motif on the back of the garment is known as koi no takinobori (“carp ascending a waterfall”), which was an immensely popular design. It references a Chinese legend of a carp that swam up the “Dragon Gate” rapids at the headwaters of the Yellow River. The determination of the carp caused it to transform into a dragon, and the auspicious motif became a symbol of perseverance and success in the face of adversity.”[MIA]
This piece can be seen at the MIA’s current exhibition Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan, open through 11 September 2022.