A Resist Dyed Cotton Happi: Baseball Print Lining
ca. mid twentieth century
29 1/2" x 48 1/2", 75 cm x 123 cm
This coat, called a happi or hanten, is the type of coat that was worn either by workers or by those who were participating in a matsuri, which is a local Shinto festival.
This particular happi is hand stitched of indigo dyed cotton and is emblazoned with bold designs: around the bottom of the coat is a pattern of wide, interlocking grey-colored circles, while on the back is a vermilion colored, very stylized butterfly which surrounds the hirgana character which reads "i ."
You will note that on the proper left sleeve, back, there is some pulling and tearing to the surface of the cotton; the same is true on the interlocking circles area, the damage shown in the accompanying detail photos.
On the collar of the happi there are the resisted words "i gumi." But it is the inside of the coat that holds the surprise.
The coat is lined in a commercially produced baseball-themed cotton cloth, the print showing stylized baseballs, pennants that read "W" and "K", a dot-and-dash pattern of stylized baseballs and bats, a checkerboard motif, repeated home plates, an abstracted baseball repeat, and baseball hats showing the Roman letters "W, K, H, T." Really lovely.
A wonderfully graphic happi coat and one whose lining adds some fun.