Nō Robe (Chōken)
Artist/maker unknown, Japanese
Nō theater combines elements of dance, drama, music, and poetry into an art form that emphasizes the aesthetic and symbolic. Splendid costumes relieve the otherwise austere stage and convey a character's status and state of mind. While derived from court dress, they are distinctly stage costumes, with prescribed styles for various male and female roles. This Nō robe, made of airy gauze and decorated with floral motifs and butterflies, is a beautiful example of the choken type usually worn for female dancing roles.