Art: Sumptuous Robes from Japan

It is possible that there are textiles somewhere of a refinement and elaboration to rival the ones now on show at New York's Japan Society. Possible, but unlikely. The exhibition, 145 robes, masks and accessories made for the classical Nō theater by 17th and 18th century Japanese craftsmen, comes from the collection of a family which, next to the Emperor's, was for more than 250 years the most exalted in Japan—the Tokugawa. The shogun, or warlord, leyasu Tokugawa unified Japan at the beginning of the 17th century, welding its scattered feudal clans into...

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