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“Whose outfits are these?” is a question you might ask when viewing tagasode (someone’s sleeve) painted screens, which feature kimonos lined up and hung on racks as their subjects.

The idea behind this unusual choice of subject lies in an ancient classical poem that describes how a person’s fragrance and belongings — the lingering scent from an incense burner and the designs on kimono — can be evocative of their owner’s personality. These byōbu folding screens portray a tradition of kimono being used as decorative items in a room.

Three tagasode screens owned by the Nezu Museum and related works featuring kimono as decoration are on display for this exhibition; Nov. 13-Dec. 23.

Nezu Museum; 6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Omotesando Stn. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥1,000. Closed Mon. 03-3400-2536; www.nezu-muse.or.jp

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