A Three Panel Segment of Cotton Kaya: Mosquito Netting with Benibana Corner
ca. early twentieth century
76" x 36", 193 cm x 91.5 cm
This beautifully blue/green/ green blue cotton mesh cloth is a segment from a kaya, or a mosquito netting tent, like the one shown here.
Laxly woven hemp and cotton were used as screening against the very plentiful mosquitoes which are especially pesky during Japan's drenchingly humid, furnace-like summers. In winter, these kaya were used as insulation.
These three panels are still hand stitched together and there are three wonderful details. First, the benibana or safflower dyed cotton corner piece, second, the hand written and faded name tag, and third, the little eddies of mending that can be seen in the accompanying photos.
The condition, overall, is good--as is the color.
A really charming old cloth, and one that would have been very present in the life of a family in old Japan.