A Silk and Cotton Boro Han Juban: Hemp Stitching
ca. early twentieth century
shoulder to hem: 29",73.5 cm
sleeve tip to sleeve tip: 48", 122 cm
This is a piece constructed, boro, silk and cotton han juban, a han juban being a half-undergarment, and often these undergarments are pieced together of scraps of cloth, as is this one.
The bodice's exterior of this han juban is hand pieced of several types of indigo dyed silk pieces, the proper back of the undergarment showing a more diverse range of silk cloth, in this case we can see striped silks, 19th century small figured cloth, and in the case of the collar we see a really lovely katazome silk fabric showing flowers. The sleeves are cotton as is the bottom half of the collar area and the half-lining.
But what makes this han juban alluring is the rustic appeal that is found in the thick, hemp thread that stitches the silk pieces together. By looking at the accompanying photographs it is easy to see how the dark, blue ground is pierced by light-colored stitches, these being hemp thread. This is a winning detail.
What is also obvious by studying the detail photographs here is that there there is a significant area of loss to the proper back, right side of the garment.
Still, this is a wonderful, hand made, and well-used traditional garment from old Japan.Recommended.