January 11, 2014

Surprise! I'm the Proud Owner of a Baby Boy's Miyamairi!

There was an unusual item in the Yamatoku box I received the other day, one of which was a little child's kimono. It looked familiar but I couldn't remember where I had seen one. It's a miyamairi, a garment used for a baby's first visit to a Shinto shrine about 30 days after birth. Ichiroya has an short explanation and photo here. 

The little kimono is just gorgeous and has a matching juban. It's in excellent condition, plain silk and lightly padded, both kimono and juban are lined with plain white silk. There is a tear on the juban where one of the ties attach but I think it could be repaired easily and even worn by a baby. There are some patinas on the white ties of the juban but no obvious stains that I can see.

The imagery suggest it's probably for a winter ceremony. There is snow on Mt. Fuji and the pine trees. The cranes are enhanced with embroidery. The juban features wonderful images of Momotaro, Fuji-san, a treasure cart guarded by a bird-warrior, and possibly a kitsune figure.

The sizes of these garments are pretty standard, about 38" long; I have no idea how old it is but pretty sure it's not contemporary, probably from the Showa period. I'm not sure I will keep this item, so if you are interested in it, let me know. It would make a beautiful display item or could even be used for your own ceremony if you are expecting a little boy in the near future!

Front of the miyamairi
Detail of back center
Juban back
Juban front
Juban sleeve
Momotaro, the Peach Boy
Treasure cart
Kitsune or ? holding a mallet
Fuji-san with cranes and pine trees
Detail of the tear on one of the juban ties

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