A Piece Constructed, Lined Han Juban: Silks and Cotton
ca. late nineteenth through early-to-mid twentieth century
26" x 44", 66 cm x 111.5 cm
This colorful silk garment is a han juban or a half under-kimono, a garment worn under the kimono similar to the way a slip is worn under a dress.
Often juban or undergarments are made of patched, repurporsed silks, as this one is. One of the reasons that juban are often brightly colored and boldly patch worked is that they were hidden from view under a somber kimono, and this surreptitious wearing of bright colors gave a sense of satisfaction to the woman wearing it.
The bodice is older than the sleeves, which is not unusual. Often sleeves and collars were replaced over time as they wore out or were stained from wear.
The bodice is made of three types of beautiful silk cloth: the blue bottom is a very complex katazome dyed silk that shows a repeat pattern of shochikubai, that is, the auspicious threesome of the motifs plum, bamboo and pine.
The top half of the bodice shows a strange, striped chirimen or silk cloth flanked by two orange chirimen silk fragments of faux shibori in the asa no ha or hemp leaf pattern. The collar seems to be a later addition and can probably be easily removed if that is something desirable.
The han juban is lined with faded, safflower or benibana dyed cotton which shows the telltale pink-to-orange tones of a faded benibana dyed cloth.
A tiny area of loss to the blue figured silk area, but otherwise in good condition--certainly wearable.