An Omi Jofu Indigo Dyed Hemp or Ramie Jacket: Wonderful Kasuri

$245.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
35 1/2" x 44", 90 cm x 112 cm

This is an indigo dyed hemp or ramie kasuri (ikat) woven jacket, probably of a type known as a dochugi or traveling coat which is a garment worn over a kimono. Its relatively large size indicates this might be the case.

The cloth is really lovely and fine; it is probably from the region around Omi which produced some of the most high quality hemp and ramie kasuri cloth in Japan. It was a major center of production and trade.

The pattern on the cloth is notable as it shows a repeat pattern of fans and the famous motif combination of pine, bamboo and plum blossoms called shochikubai.

Shochikubai is a classic, auspicious pattern and it is often used for cloth to be included in a bridal trousseau.  The plum is the first bloom to burst forth from the winter's ice and is symbol of strength, the bamboo bends but does not break so it is a symbol of resilience, and the pine, of course conveys a wish for longevity.  Also, pine needles fall in pairs, and thus they are a motif often used at weddings.

Overlaid onto this pattern is a repeat of warp-based white "slashes" which add a dazzling effect to the design.

The condition overall is very good as there does not seem to be any significant damage to the coat itself with the exception of an almost indiscernible, small hole on the proper, right shoulder. As well there would have been silk ties to close this jacket but they have frayed away and there is a bit of evidence they existed.

Still very wearable and a very handsome old garment.

Dimensions noted above are shoulder to hem x sleeve tip to sleeve tip.