A Wonderfully Stitched and Leathery Sakabukuro: Sake Making Filter
mid twentieth century
30" x 10 1/2", 76 cm x 26.5 cm
Sakabukuro, or sake straining bags, are beautiful boro textiles. Made of cotton saturated with green persimmon tannin, or kaki shibu, which gives the distinctive brown color, this utilitarian textile was used in sake making.
Crude sake, or sake lees, was placed in this bag and pressure was applied to squeeze out and filter the liquid. Repeated use required repeated mendings and we see the wonderfully odd stitches applied for this purpose.
This wonderful bag shows a wonderfully mottled, chestnut color from being dipped many times in kaki shibu. The surface is leathery and stiff from the green persimmon tannin. The mending stitches are highly unusual in that they appear in the center of the bag as zigzags and at the bags bottom edge. Note the tear to the proper back, center, of the bag.
A really wonderful sakabukuro, and one of a high quality and attractiveness that is becoming more and more difficult to find.