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DESCRIPTION: The extremely fine threads, beautiful weaving and imaginative patterns in Okinawan Silk Pongee or "Tsumugi" are unrivaled in the exquisite quality of this informal, fully reversible man's topcoat that has been sewn completely by hand both inside and out. In ancient Okinawa, to envelop your body with a woven cloth represented your desire to embrace and to protect the sacred spirit concealed within the body. Thus, this Haori was much more than a protective covering. This fabulous Silk is also referred to as "Oshima Silk," and was greatly prized and extraordinarily expensive, as it required a year's work for the weaving of one garment.
What makes the Haori for men so intriguing is the fact that the main source of decoration is on the inside of the garment (shown left), or the lining. The inner back panel of this remarkable Haori has been hand painted in the Sumie style using the Rice Paste Resist process. In addition to the calligraphy, the dominant object in view is the Bodhi Dharma or Daruma, the sage to whom the introduction of the Zen sect of Buddhism in China is attributed. He is often represented without his legs because he remained seated, absorbed in meditation for nine years, during which time temptations were heaped upon him by the evil spirits without any result. He is the 28th patriarch of Buddhism and much revered as a saint. He died circa A.D. 529.
Only a member of a family of wealth and high status could have worn a garment of this quality for informal use.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: Informal Man's Haori or topcoat
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Meiji Era (1868 - 1912), before the turn of the century
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: "Tsumugi" Silk was spun from the textured floss that was derived from the leftover silk cocoon. Its matte finish gave it the appearance of shiny cotton, allowing Okinawans who were denied the ability to wear Silk by law, the perfect way to do so. It was created from pre, naturally-dyed threads which, when woven, created the small overall patterns most typical of Oshima Silk. It is in excellent condition.
PRESENTATION: To hang as a display or work of art, or to wear (perhaps with the inside panel on the outside) for a very formal or elegant occasion.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.