A Resist Dyed Hanten Panel: Western Writing and Kaki Shibu
mid twentieth century
61" x 14 3/4", 155 cm x 37.5 cm
This interesting, brown colored, resist dyed cotton panel is one-half of a hanten or a work coat, the interesting detail of which is obvious: Western lettering.
In the twentieth century this was not unusual to see on hanten, but it is still interesting to see the use and depiction of Western letters which are used in the transliteration of Japanese words. The proportions of these letters and the way they are formed are curious to the Western eye.
The brown color is probably achieved by dipping the cloth in green persimmon tannin or kaki shibu. And you will note a tear to the center, left hand side of this cloth: this is typical of clothing which have been disassembled as this notch is necessary in forming the collar portion of the coat as it drapes over the shoulder. What would have been the proper back of the coat is seen at the bottom of this length; the proper front is at the top of the length.
A lovely piece of old cotton with unusual color and details.