This richly decorated robe is among the earliest extant 'kosode.' Its design of irregularly scalloped bands of pale blue alternating with shell-strewn bands of white evokes the sandbars and floating clouds of Japan's coastal scenery. The fabric, woven in an intricate key-fret pattern with lotus and floral motifs, was imported from Ming China. It was resist dyed in pale blue, reserving the white ground to achieve the effect of a wave-washed shore, and then embroidered with scattered shells and seaweed in rich colors and naturalistic detail. The alternating blue bands were subtly but gorgeously embellished by accenting the woven floral pattern with impressed gold foil. The primary motif of scattered shells is familiar in Japanese decorative arts, especially lacquer, from the late Momoyama period (1568-1615). The decorative technique of embroidery combined with gold leaf is also inherited from Momoyama textiles.