An Exceptionally Good Komebukuro: Hemp Cloth
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
8" x 8" x 8", 20 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm
This is the kind of komebukuro, or festival rice bag, that you dream of finding.
It is a simply stunning example of this kind of small, drawstring bag that was used to carry offerings of dried rice or beans to temple and shrine festivals in old Japan.
It is made of hemp cloth--about 18 pieces in all--and the eye catching beauty of this bag is its symmetrical construction, its fine condition, and those fantastically lovely five panels of pale, benibana or safflower dyed hemp cloth that are arranged around the bag and create an allusion to the five-petaled, pale pink cherry blossom.
The benibana panels are situated among pieces of indigo dyed kasuri, probably Omi jofu, a very fine, handwoven hemp or ramie cloth from Shiga Prefecture.
The bottom is beautifully stitched, and the pale blue, braided drawstring appears original to the bag. The bag appears not to have been used, although it is made from "recycled" hemp cloth.
Please have another look at this bag on our blog, here.