A 19th Century Katazome Dyed Shin Guard: Stylized Sedge Motif
reduced from $75.00
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
12" x 14", 30.5 cm x 35.5 cm
This beautifully shaped indigo dyed cotton textile is styled in such a way to tie around the shin for protection.
As this textile is expertly stencil resist dyed in the katazome method, it is unlikely that this was used by a rural person while they worked; most likely it was used by a person of means, probably when traveling.
The small, resist dyed pattern is of a fairly rare motif called shobu, or stylized calamus (a rush or sedge) which conveys a martial impression as it suggests a sword blade and because the Japanese word shobu puns on homophones meaning "martial spirit" or "victory and defeat."
The textile is backed in a thick, woven striped cotton and all but one of the whale bone closures is still extant.
The indigo blue has oxidized to a steely grey-blue--still, a wonderful color and quite elegant.