Japanese Engimono good luck charms and designs for Japanese celebrations
The Chiso Gallery was established as a location for the long-standing Kimono maker Chisho—an over 400-year old dealer of the finest Kyo-yuzen Kimono—to exhibit the different art, and dyed and woven textiles they have collected over the years. The exhibition currently on at the gallery is called “DESIGNS FOR JAPANESE CELEBRATION.”
Japanese people have long prayed for happiness and placed significance on the sound of peoples’ names and the nature of the Japanese fauna and flora, believing that they are connected to good fortune and prosperity.
However, this may only be something that is born out of the sensitivities of the Japanese people, who have for so long lived with—and paid such close attention to the beauty of—the forever changing faces of the seasons.
However, it is precisely this sensibility that has lead to those faunae and flora of Japan becoming the subject of so many Japanese paintings, designs, and decorations.
This exhibit focuses on the pieces of Chiso’s collection, which are embedded with such hopes, elation, and well wishes for the said nature of Japan.
The exhibit also looks at how Japanese people would have celebrated special occasions as well, so through the beautiful kimono and paintings on display, you can get an in-depth look into the different celebrations of Japan.
Kimono and Paintings
As mentioned above, each kimono and painting displayed at this exhibit share the theme of and feature designs related to “good fortune.”
In addition, each piece exhibit piece is accompanied by an explanation next to it, which outlines the specific good fortune related design that it features.
Although the explanations are sadly entirely in Japanese, the pictures included in each explanation help you work out the specific design in the piece that is related to good fortune.
Also, if you find yourself wondering about the origin of said design, you can always look up about the animal or plants used in the piece afterward.
The History of Chiso
Just in front of the exhibit hall is a room that contains a large panel. This panel tells the story of Chiso’s history going back to its establishment.
Even if you can’t read Japanese it’s an interesting look as when you run your eyes over each section of the panel, you begin to get a deeper understanding of not only Chiso, but how the times have changed as well.
When you visit the Chiso Gallery, also keep an eye out for how this over 400-year old textile maker has transitioned and changed.