Tagasode | Someone´s Sleeve | 誰ヶ袖図屏風

Tagasode (誰ヶ袖図屏風), translated as someone’s sleeve, are a group of painted screens that usually depict kimonos lined up hanging on to a wooden rack or clothing stands (ikō-zu). This subject became very popular in the late Momoyama and early Edo periods (16th and early 17th centuries.)

Tagasode (?Whose Sleeves??)

Apparently, the word tagasode has deep literary connotations and was probably originated from a line in Kokin Wakashū 古今和歌集,  a collection of Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern Times, also  knowns as Kokinshū 古今集 . This was an Imperial anthology created by Emperor Uda during the Heian period and published by his son Emperor Daigo approximately in 905.:

“Iro yorimo/ka koso aware to /omohoyure/tagasode fureshi/yado no ume zomo 色よりも/香こそあはれと/おもほゆれ/誰が袖ふれし/宿の梅ぞも”. Tagasode often implies a beautiful woman whose absence is missed, since beautiful sleeves are thought to evoke the image of an elegant woman and the fragrance arising from her kimono.” (Source)

Tagasode (?Whose Sleeves??)6a

Captura de pantalla 2015-03-02 a las 9.59.00

*This last Tagasode screen is called Inuomono (“Dog chasers”)
Edo period, 17th century, it´s a pair of six-panel folding screens, from Kyoto, Hosomi Museum (Hosomi bijutsukan.) Dog chasers (inuomono) was one of the martial arts favoured by the samurai. This
screen is the oldest of its kind in existence and provides evidence of a popular 17th-century custom. (Source

Some resources to keep digging:

If you are wondering about those poems, here you have an online edition of the Kokin Wakashu via the UVa Library Japanese Text Initiative.

Turning Point: Oribe and the Arts of Sixteenth-century Japan, edited by Miyeko Murase, Mutsuko Amemiy (link)

Draped in Silks: Whose Sleeves Adorn These Japanese Folding Screens? by Terry Satsuki Milhaupt (Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin) via Jstor.

*Images via MetMuseum & here


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