A Densely Sashiko Stitched Sash from Shonai: Heavily Abraded

$115.00 USD

early twentieth century
18" x 5 1/4", 46 cm x 13.25 cm

This is a thick, heavily abraded and densely sashiko stitched sash taken from a traditional style work vest from the Shonai area in Yamagata prefecture in Japan's rural northeastern or Tohoku region.

The roughly worn and beautifully damaged white pattern on the strap is that of the kaki no hana or persimmon flower; in this case we see it done in two different proportions and densities. 

It was remove from a sorihiki sodenashi (sled-pulling sleeveless garment) that was used by men for hauling a sled behind them. The sashiko stitched diagonal strap that covers the front of the garment was placed there to cushion the body from the force of the strap and to add durability to the garment.

It was said that a garment of this type would have been debuted by a man during the first occasion of a new year's farm work around 10 January. There would have been some pride in this debut as it signaled that his wife spent weeks or months hand stitching this garment for him.

As this was a traditional type of work garment in the Shonai area there were many variations on it so it must have been something of a delight to compare one's sorihiki sodenashi with those of one's neighbors.

This absolutely beautifully stitched and worn cloth shows amazing hand work that must have taken days if not weeks to stitch --and the evidence of the hard work and amazing force used against it over time is a beautiful testimony to the person who owned this.


A Densely Sashiko Stitched Sash from Shonai: Heavily Abraded