A Rare Japanese Edo Period Kamishimo Samurai Two-Piece Ceremonial Costume


Origin: Japanese
Period: Early Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1830
Width: 28 inches (shoulder to shoulder)
Width: 12 inches (at waist)
Height: 51 inches (maximum)

Worn by warriors of old, the ensemble with stencil patterning consisting of kataginu, the sleeveless jacket, and naga-bakama, the trousers, this outfit is commonly known as a Kamishimo dress and is typical of the Japanese Edo period.

The Edo period or Tokugawa period is a division of Japanese history, which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868.

When calling at a castle on seasonal days the Daimyo, or domain lord, wore a Kamishimo such as this, being the common full dress of a high-class samurai.

The material is in hemp and the design consists of komon – literally meaning ‘small pattern’ whilst the three petal Mon seen on this outfit on the right and left breast and to the rear is the family arms of the individual, and are an indication of rank. The samurai would have completed the ensemble with a chiisa-gatana, a small sword, and an ohgi, a fan.

This Kamishimo is offered in fine overall condition and represents a gilt-edged chance to own a very rare piece of Japanese period costume.