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April by Chikanobu Toyohara (1890)

A young beauty glances behind her shoulder, perhaps she has crossed a handsome man? Wearing chic clothes made of splendid materials, she appears very seductive. The light pink kimono creates contrast with the richly patterned obi sash in greens and bllues. That "love is in the air" is further suggest by the overflying swallow: associated with spring, in ancient times the bird was also a symbol of marital love.

Usually worn in contrasting colours to the kimono itself, the obi has grown dramatically in size since the beginning of the Edo Period. It is this increase in width that led to the custom of tying the obi at the rear, the large knot being too cumbersome to practically sit at the front of the outfit
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