A Pair of Inside-Out Tabi: Patched and Mended
mid twentieth century
9" x 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", 23 cm x 8.75 cm x 8.75 cm
This is a pair of tabi that are seen inside-out, so what we see here is the white cotton lining, the dark cotton patches and some wonderfulsashiko stitching used for reinforcement and repair.
Tabi are the traditional, split-toe footwear worn in Japan; in the countryside a pair of hand twined rice straw sandals would have been over these tabi, and the tabi themselves could have been worn indoors. In cities, tabi were worn withzori, flat, thonged sandals.
This pair is made of a slightly textured cotton. Each of the soles is well mended and reinforced with stitching, as can be seen in the accompanying photographs.
The proper, "outside" of this pair of tabi is made of a black, cotton velour.
A wonderful piece of old Japan, and one with a great deal of character that provides insight into the daily life of someone living in another era.