A Well-Used Happi or Hanten: Restaurant Uniform
early to mid twentieth century
37 1/2" x 49", 95 cm x 124.5 cm
This well-worn, indigo dyed cotton happi or hanten is resist dyed and is hand stitched.
The jacket is typical of one worn by employees of a company: usually the company name or logo is identified somewhere on the garment, often in stylized form as we see here. This hanten is said to have been worn by someone who worked at a fish restaurant.
Around the bottom of the coat are large-scale, very stylized Chinese characters of kanji. A kanji also appears on the back of the coat, on the proper top center.
You will notice some frayed seams and frayed areas of cotton--and some abrasion or wear to the surface of the jacket which not only adds charm to the piece but it also consistent with its age.
A delightful happi from old Japan, and one that is still very wearable.