A noshime is a small-sleeved (kosode 小袖) noh costume of a plain weave silk, either monochrome or with bands of different colors worn for lower-class male roles. In noh, noshime serve as undergarments for a variety of characters, especially monks, common men, low-ranking samurai, and sometimes old women. In kyōgen, noshime are also used for characters of daimyō.
Roles and Draping
Traveling priests wear plain-color noshime under a mizugoromo 水衣, with or without ōkuchi 大口. Servants don a noshime under kamishimo 裃 matched suits with wing sleeves, while daimyō wear them under the more elaborate hitatare 直垂 matched suits. When preparing for action, the outer jacket might be shed, exposing the noshime tucked into the pleated trousers in a draping known as mogidō.
Textile features and tailoring
Glossed silk wefts are woven in plain weave into raw (unglossed) silk warps. A wavy texture can be added by varying the thickness of some of the threads. Noshime are tailored in a standard T-shape kosode with the outer edge of the sleeves below the wrist opening sewn together.
Designs and Colors
While many noshime are a single solid color, such as navy, brown, green or tan, some have horizontal bands of contrasting colors or bands of tie-dyed (kasuri) checks. Very often the waist area is left white (koshiaki) or filled with textured checks. Stripes and bands are considered higher class than simple plain-colored noshime.
Noshime. brown with blue band at the waist. 18th century. Tokyo National Museum.