A Boro Han Juban: Whiteish or Pale Colored Base Cloth
early to mid twentieth century
25" x 44", 63.5 cm x 111.5 cm
This is a wonderful short, boro jacket that is actually a han juban, or a half under-kimono. It is shown here inside-out as is the custom with most boro textiles because the inside is usually the area where most patches and mending are evident.
The base cloth is dusty, light-grey and faded cotton flannel which has been worn hard over the years. The shape of the bodice is the result of it being hand pieced; the stitching is done by hand. The sleeves are beautifully mended; the final layer of the collar's many layers is slightly damaged, embroidered, black crepe silk. In old Japan, collars and sleeves were often taken on and off--or replaced and repaired--over the lifetime of the garment.
This han juban is a small beauty and is a tangible window into life in old Japan.