A Leathery and Thick Sakabukuro: Faint Chalk Kanji
mid twentieth century
25" x 11 1/2", 63.5 cm x 29 cm
Sakabukuro, or sake straining bags, are usually made of cotton which has been saturated with green persimmon tannin, or kaki shibu, which gives the distinctive brown color. This utilitarian textile was used in sake making.
Crude sake, or sake lees, was placed in this bag and pressure was applied to squeeze out and filter the liquid. Repeated use required repeated mending. and we see the wonderfully odd stitches applied for this purpose.
This wonderful bag is glossy and leathery from so many dips into the kaki shibu vat: the cloth is absolutely impregnated with the substance and the surface is gloss and the texture is stiff. The color is a beautiful, deep, chestnut/auburn brown.
Interesting is the addition of chalk-like handwriting, most likely notes from the sake brewer (or someone associated with the process) which mentions quantities of something related to sake making. The finished hem is machine stitched.
A curious, collectible thing.