A Semamori Cho: Album of Protective Stitches

$350.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
when closed, as shown: 5" x 3 1/4" x 1/4", 12.5 cm x 8.25 cm x .75 cm
11 pages, 21 stitched designs

In Japan, there is a certain magic associated with stitching: the very act of enclosing a body in cloth is rich in meaning and stitching a garment closed has power in it. It is no wonder that stitches applied to children’s garments are done intentionally and that they are meant to protect the child from harm.

These protective stitches are called semamori, and offered here today is a semamori cho, or a practice album of decorative stitches that, when stitched on a child’s garment, would have been held in place one of the kimono’s two ties.

In this album there are 11 pages containing a total of 21 stitched designs. As well, on the inside of one of the covers there is a charmingly naive pencil drawing of either a fox or a horse.

Be aware of some staining to the pages and some loss of paper in certain instances. The accompanying detail images aim to represent this aspect of the book.

Objects such as this are becoming increasingly difficult to find now in Japan and this particular semamori cho is a small treasure.