The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise - Seguin, Texas - Thursday, December 22, 1994 - Page 7 Kimonos featured in S.A. exhibit . Elaborately-embroidered Japanese kimonos are on display at the Witte Museum in an exhibition entitled "Kimono: Discovering the Traditions of Japan." The kimono, almost emblematic in its association with Japan, has all but disappeared from the daily life of the Japanese people. For once-in- a-lifetime events, however, such as weddings, cotning-of-age ceremonies and graduations, the traditional kimono is still worn. These complex garments illustrate an enigmatic culture culture laced with mystery, ancient tradition and contemporary sophistication. sophistication. Sixteen kimonos, together with obi (sashes), fans and footwear, unique gift cloths, textile screen panels panels and Buddhist monks' robes are on display, drawn from the museum's museum's Textile and Costume Collection. The kimono captures the essence of female beauty and is the embodiment embodiment of traditional cultural values. In the late 1800s, the word kimono replaced the term kosode, which, for centuries, was used to describe the garment. Today, the kosode refers to the kimono worn by older married women and is characterized by shorter shorter sleeves and sombre colors. Another type, the furisode, has long swinging sleeves. With more brilliant colors and bolder designs, the furisode is worn by younger unmarried unmarried women. One of the highlights of the exhibit is an exquisitely-crafted silk furisode with a bold overall pattern pattern which reflects the style of the Meiji period (1868-1912). This furisode, used for very special or festive festive occasions, was donated by Elizabeth H. Maddux. A handsome ceremonial furisode embroidered with cranes and pine branches was presented to Lt. Col. Billie Murray by the Takana family of Yokahama. Murray was a frequent guest in their summer home in the nearby mountains during her Army service in Japan. Takana, a prominent prominent member of the Japanese Bar Association, was employed by the U.S. Army, assigned to Murray's staff in the office of the Judge Advocate. Advocate. During Murray's last visit to the family's summer home, Mrs. Takana directed one of the household servants servants to take up some floor boards which concealed the entrance to a cave in the mountainside. The robe had been hidden there along with other other family treasures during World War II. It had been worn only once— by a member of their family at the coronation coronation of the last Emperor of Japan—and then preserved as a family family heirloom. A much more subdued garment is a kosode woven and worn by one of Japan's National Living Treasures. The ikat-dyed double weave garment was given to the late Kay Maxham, founder of the Southwest Craft Center's Center's weaving department, who in turn willed it to the Witte Museum. Among the most lavishly embroidered embroidered robes are those for informal house wear. A fine example on view had gold leaf applied to the silk before being embroidered with chrysanthemums, cherry blossoms and doves. This beautiful silk kimono was donated by the late Elizabeth Urschel. Men's kimonos were much simpler. simpler. They are now usually worn informally in the home. One example, example, worn during a ceremonial tea, is patterned with appropriate symbols including a tea bowl, water jars, bamboo bamboo dippers and folding fans. Others were more like bathrobes. Usually made of cotton, they were worn to absorb moisture after a bath. Two unusual kimonos on view, called yogi, are padded garments in kimono shape, but are used as coverlets coverlets to be thrown over bedding for extra warmth in winter. To further emphasize the cultural traditions of Japan, there are three rare examples of gift cloths. Highly formal, these cloths are used to cover cover gifts when presented. Completing the display are geisha dolls in traditional traditional garb, dolls used in children's festivals, miniature furniture and "Kimono: Discovering the Tradi- models of Samurai armor, and acces- tions of Japan," remains on display sory items such as hair ornaments, through February 28, 1995 at the head rests, jewelry and tobacco Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, San pouches. Antonio THIS GIRL'S FORMAL WEDDING KIMONO (outer garment of white silk brocade, embroidered with silk and couched gold and silver cord) is on display at the Witte Museum in San Antonio. The kimono is featured in the exhibit "Kimono: Discovering the Traditions of Japan" through Feb. 28, 1995.