Kinran(gold brocade) is considered the most gorgeous of the meibutsu-gire. The first syllable of the word, kin, means "gold". the second, ran, refers to cloth that was attached to the hem of a Buddhist cloak to strengthen it. Kinran has a ground wave of twill and weft patterns woven with either gold thread or threadlike strips of gilded paper. Kinran was first made in China (known as Zhijin) during the Song Dynasty. It came to Japan through Sino- Japanese trade at the end of the Fujiwara and Kamakura periods, in form of ceremonial robes for Zen monks. Kinran began to be made in Japan during the Momoyama period.
Below are some of the more well know kinran fabrics and patterns:
|Futari Shizuka Kinran|
The name of this fabric comes from a Noh play called Futari Shizuka. It is said that Ashikaga Yoshimasa shogun (1436-1490) performed this particular play wearing a costume made of Futari Shizuka Kinran fabric. Late Sung period - early Ming period.
|Shippo Setsugekka Kinran|
Shippo Setsugeka Kinran is a design of interlocking rings, with snowflakes, moon and flowers, favored by the Urasenke14th Generation Grand Tea Master Tantansai.
|Chaji Hanausagi Kinran|
|Moegiji Hanausagi Kinran|
There are many other famously named kinran fabrics, but you can begin to recognize these fabrics in your study when the guests ask about shifuku kereji.
*Fabric photos courtesy of Kitamura Tokusai Fukusaten Co., Ltd., Kyoto, Japan.via the now closed website Tea Hyakka..