If you are looking for a great excuse to wear your Japanese kimono, or simply get out of the house we highly recommend checking out the current exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute: Samurai, Ghosts, and Lovers: Yoshitoshi's Complete 100 Aspects of the Moon. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi's (1839-1892) is regarded as one of the foremost masters of Japanese block print art, and his prints are delightful.
In particular, the prints on display all have a central theme: the moon. From 1885 to 1892 he produced a series of images that were related on a limited basis. Each print is wonderfully detailed and full of fine and nuance complex touches that makes viewing each print a delight.
If you have never been to the Dayton Art Insitute you are for a treat. Address: 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton Ohio 45405 Website: http://www.daytonartinstitute.org/
Time is running out for you to visit this exhibit, as it closes on Sept 13th, 2020. We were able to attend this exhibit in July and found it delightful and worth much reflection. Each print is paired with an informative plague that often story tells km, and informs the reader about Japanese culture, history, and art. Even if you only read a handful of stories on display, the art will more than carry the exhibit.
In particular, we really enjoyed looking at the kimono in each print, and how radically different the stylization and methods in which they were worn greatly different from more modern kimono dressing styles. Throughout much of history, kimono were worn in rather loose relaxed layers verses in more modern kimono styles you tend to desire a very clean, neat, and structured look for your Japanese kimono. Even the modern yukata is worn in a much more rigid style than many historical outfits.
So while visiting, we challenge you to look at the kimono features in the block prints and reflection on how much more different historical fashion and style were in contrast to modern Japanese kimono styles. Additionally intermixed into the exhibit are complete suits of samurai armor and two delightful antique kimono.
The suits of samurai armor and antique Japanese kimono are worth spending time reflecting on as each are unique works of art unto themselves. From the beautiful hand made lacing of the armor, to the impressive rivet work for the helmet each suit of armor is rich in detail and wonder. As if the samurai armor were not enough, there are also on display a number of antique Japanese blades.
The antique kimono on display make grand statements and are a powerful testimony to the skill and patience of historical weavers, and kimono makers.
We hope you have a chance to support this exhibit before it closes, and encourage you to consider wearing your own authentic kimono to it, or at least a stylish haori.
The Dayton Art Institute is open and requires that visitors wear a face mask.