A Sheet of Stitched Semamori: Four Designs Twice

$75.00 USD

early twentieth century
6 1/4" x 7 1/2", 16 cm x 19 cm

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 so intentionally, and that they are meant to protect the child from harm.

These protective stitches are called semamori, and offered here today is a page from a semamori cho, or a practice album of decorative stitches that, when stitched on a child’s garment--in the case of these they probably would have been used to attach the two ties to the front of a kimono--would have been held in place one of the kimono’s two ties.

On this double-sided card there are four different semamori which are hand stitched on each of its sides.

These four stitched amulets show a bit of the variety of designs that were used as semamori in old Japan and on each side of the card the same four are stitched. As you can see by looking at the detail photos some of the stitching is broken.

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