A Han Juban Constructed of Tenugui: Machine Stitching
ca. mid twentieth century
23 1/4" x 28", 59.5 cm x 71 cm
This garment is called a han juban, or a "half-under-kimono." It is machine stitched from several pieces, the printed cloth being recycled tenugui, a kind of decorative, dyed, lightweight towel that served countless purposes in old Japan and was used by all.
The back of this han juban seems to be a kind of cotton flannel while the front is made of tenugui pieces. The entire thing is dyed in an uneven, blotchy flamingo pink color, which could or could not be benibana or safflower dye. The collar, too, is of the cotton flannel material.
A visually charming garment and one that beautifully utilized repurposed cloth, this han juban stitched from old tenugui is a real reminder of the frugality and ingenuity of women in old Japan.