A Beautifully Flawed Komebukuro: Corner Details and Small Holes
ca. early to mid twentieth century
9 1/2" x 8 /12" x 8 1/2", 24 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm
This small and unassuming drawstring bag is hand sewn from about 15 pieces of hand loomed Japanese cottons, an assortment brown-dyed checks and stripes predominating. The cotton drawstring seems original to the bag.
What is fascinating and unusual about this bag is the way that a group of yellow and red triangular cotton pieces were used to create visual interest, which was done very effectively.
What you will realize when looking at the detail photographs that accompany this post is that the exterior cloth of this bag has a spray of small holes, presumably from insects. What can be seen through these holes is the grey checked cotton lining of the bag.
This kind of piece-constructed, drawstring bag is often referred to as a komebukuro.
Komebukuro are bags that were used to bring token offerings of uncooked rice or beans to a temple or shrine festival, the piecing and patching often being thought-out and planned, for festive effect.
A marvelous bag, one that is inventive in its assemblage, and one that shows a good range of hand loomed cottons--it is an object that beautifully recalls the spirit of old Japan.
Beautiful, and of good size.