An Intricately Pieced Yose Han Juban: Hand Stitched Silk Collage
ca. early to mid twentieth century
24" x 23", 61 cm x 58.5 cm
This is a piece constructed, silk and cotton han juban, a han juban being a half-undergarment, and often these undergarments are pieced together of scraps of cloth, as is this one.
Often, too, like this one is, they are exuberant in color and pattern, the reason being is that they will never be seen by anyone except the wearer of the undergarment, and the wearer often was the maker.
The exterior of the han juban is made of silk; the proper front is made from large pieces of orange, resist dyed silk in a faux shibori pattern.
The elaborately hand stitched and hand pieced back of the garment is composed of well over 60 individual pieces of silk scraps, all of them artfully placed. It seems that most of the silks on both front and back are dyed using synthetic dyes.
The silk on the front of the garment, a searing orange color bearing the traditional hemp leaf pattern, shows a few holes the size of match heads; one of the sleeve/arm hole areas is frayed. This han juban is too delicate to wear as a garment, but if it is, it should be worn lightly and with the understanding the garment is fragile.
The collar area and the lining are both cotton.
A beautiful example of a traditional Japanese pieced undergarment.