A Beautifully Pieced Komebukuro: Round Shaped Rice Bag
early twentieth century
6" x 7" x 7", 15 cm x 18 cm x 18 cm
This is an especially good, rustic komebukuro, which shows good age, good hand stitching, very nice fragments of recycled cloth, and an interesting pattern of pieced cloth.
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.
This one is a particularly fine example of a country type of bag as its cloth fragments show wear, as its stitching is quite broad and noticeable, and as the on-the-bias, freely-swirling piece construction is a bit unusual.
Both cotton and hemp or ramie fragments are hand stitched together to compose this komebukuro, about 20 different pieces in all. The cotton drawstring is intact, as are the loops that hold it, and they both seem original to the bag. It is lined in pieces of used, pale indigo dyed cotton.
A really marvelous, old, boro komebukuro: very recommended.