A Pieced Hemp or Ramie Rice Bag: Safflower Dyed Pink Patches

$185.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
7 1/2" x 7" x 7", 19 cm x 18 cm x 18 cm

Komebukuro or rice bags are drawstring pouches that were used to bring token offerings of uncooked rice or beans to a temple or shrine festival, the piecing and patching often being thought-out and planned, for festive effect.

This one is a particularly fine example. 

It is composed of over 30 separate pieces of cloth of indigo dyed hemp or ramie as well as pink or coral pieces, the pinkish tone the result of being dyed in safflower or benibana as its known in Japan.

All the fragments are hand stitched. The cotton drawstring is intact and seems original to the bag, as are the loops that hold it.   

Note the amazing graphic on the bottom of the bag, the large indigo star that relates to the pentagonal construction of the bag itself.

As is illustrated in some of the detail photos here please do notice some deep holes to the bag, especially around the base, probably due to insect intervention. This is not uncommon for this type of bag of this age.

This is an especially well-designed and executed komebukuro, which shows good age, good hand stitching and fine fragments of recycled cloth.