A Beautiful Tstustugaki Dyed Fireman's Happi: Waves and Plovers

$325.00 USD

early to mid twentieth century
30 1/2" x 44 1/2", 77.5 cm x 113

This is a really charmingly drawn and beautifully spirited happi: the pictorial details on the coat are resist dyed in the tsutsugaki method which a free hand type of resist, often seen on folk textiles.

The happi was worn by a member of a fire brigade and was most likely done so at a local matsuri or festival.

The images are delightful: sitting on the top of the back of the coat is a Chinese character or kanji which is surrounded by a circle of vermilion, the color achieved by dyeing in bengara or an iron oxide derived dye.

The bottom of the coat shows crashing waves or surf with plovers or chidori frolicking among the waves. This design is shown on the front and the back of the coat, so it is a wrap around design.

The lapels show more kanji or Chinese characters and as can be seen in the amply shared detail photos that accompany this post, there are holes and loss to the proper right, front of the coat, which makes sense as the coat is nearly 100 years old.

The happi is entirely hand stitched, shows a great patina from age, and the indigo dyed cotton has softened and mellowed over time.

A delightfully good happi with a very ably drawn scene of surf and sea birds.


A Beautiful Tstustugaki Dyed Fireman's Happi: Waves and Plovers