A Shibori and Sashiko Head Covering: Akita
ca. mid twentieth century
60" x 12", 152.5 cm x 30.25 cm
This length of indigo dyed cotton is a traditional head covering from Japan's north east or Tohoku region. This long, cotton cloth is called a zukin or a naga tenugui.
This piece comes from Akita prefecture, and its shibori decoration is very much in the spirit of the spare, dark shibori for which Akita is known. On the proper, left-hand side of the zukin is an applied patch of large scale cotton kasuri cloth. The top, short end of the head covering is elaborately sashiko stitched with rows of small patterns, and there are five, sashiko stitched lines that run across the cloth about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom.
This traditional head covering is lined with applied fragments of fanciful, commercially produced cotton cloth. The patterned cloth shows a fairly large-scale repeat of leaf shapes against a background of a stylized stream. Just lovely.
A beautiful, every day piece from country Japan, and one that is well-suited to be admired or to use in home decor.