A Hand Spun Cotton Happi: Resist Dyed Jacket
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
35 1/4" x 48", 90 cm x 122 cm
This is a resisted, indigo dyed happi, a festival coat or a jacket worn by employees of a business. Happi are always emblazoned with a stylized crest or kanji, a Chinese character.
The highly stylized resisted design on the back of the coat is that of yorozu a kanji conveying the number ten thousand which symbolizes "all or everything." The kanji is enclosed in a form which seems to represent a counterweight; the yorozu kanji is colored with bengara, an iron oxide derived dye stuff.
The deeply dyed cotton is hand woven from beautiful hand spun cotton yarns. If you look carefully at the detail photos shown here you will see there are small nicks to the surface of the jacket, with two small holes that are highlighted on the photographs included.
A really wonderful old jacket with a restrained design of beautiful quality.
This jacket is desirable for its age, its fine hand spun cottons and its spare and lovely resist dyed image.