An Inside-Out Boro Tabi: Patches and Mending
mid twentieth century
4" x 10" x 4", 10 cm x 25.25 cm x 10 cm
This is a single tabi that is seen inside-out, so what we see here is the white cotton lining, the dark cotton patches and some wonderful sashiko stitching used for reinforcement and repair.
Tabi are the traditional, split-toe footwear worn in Japan; in the countryside a pair of hand twined rice straw sandals would have been over these tabi, and the tabi themselves could have been worn indoors. In cities, tabi were worn with zori, flat, thonged sandals.
This one is made of a worn white cotton. The sole is well mended and reinforced with stitching, as well.
The proper, "outside" of this pair of tabi is made of black cotton.
A wonderful piece of old Japan, and one with a great deal of character that provides insight into the daily life of someone living in another era.