A Rustic and Beautiful Pieced Cotton Drawstring Bag: Chainstich Kanji
ca. early to mid twentieth century
11" x 8" x 8", 28 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm
This lovely drawstring bag is sewn from about a dozen pieces of old, hand loomed Japanese cottons. What one notices first about this piece are the two kanji which are prominently chain stitched on the front of the bag. The appeal is immediate--and graphic, and the kanji are rendered beautifully in white sashiko thread.
The bag is of a nice size; some of the panels of cotton cloth have subtle patterns from light fading--it seems the cloth was faded like this before the bag was sewn--otherwise this piece is in wonderful condition. The cotton drawstring is original to the bag.
This kind of piece-constructed, drawstring bag is often referred to as a komebukuro. Komebukuro are bags 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.
A marvelous, old bag, and object that recalls the spirit of old Japan.