<em>Noh theatre robe, Atsuita</em> (late 18th century-early 19th century) <!-- (back view) --><br />
<em>(Nōshōzoku Atsuita 能装束厚板)</em><br />
silk, gilt-paper, silk thread<br />
143.0 cm (centre back) 155.4 cm (cuff to cuff)<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Felton Bequest in honour of Allan Myers AO President of the Council of Trustees of the NGV, 2012<br />
2012.262<br />


Japanese Noh theatre robe, Atsuita (Nōshōzoku Atsuita) late 18th – early 19th century

Noh theatre robe, Atsuita (late 18th century-early 19th century)

Noh is a masked dance-drama in which the extreme stylisation of actors’ movements and music evokes a beautiful and mysterious setting for narratives that move between the human and spiritual realms. It is regarded by many as one of the foundations of Japanese culture and as representative of the unique Japanese aesthetic of yūgen (mysterious or elusive beauty). Noh robes became formalised during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and were based on the elegant attire of the ruling warrior classes. The striking design of this atsuita costume, worn mainly for male roles, displays the auspicious symbols of sasa bamboo grass leaves; kumochōban cloud-shaped gongs; karabana stylised flowers; and interlocking shika-no-tsuno deer horns.