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. It is still highly prized. The other intriguing fact about Oshima Silk is that, prior to the twentieth century, the Japanese of Okinawa were looked down upon by the Japanese of the mainland. So much so, in fact, that there was a law that stated that the Okinawans’ could not weave their garments from silk. Thus, these marvelous garments were created by soaking the hard fibers from the silk cocoon (the undesirable remainders) in their local streams and soils and then when they were ready, they were woven in such a way that the islanders could thumb their noses in protest as they actually wore silk garments.
What makes the Haori for men so intriguing, however, is the fact that the main source of decoration is on the inside of the garment (shown left), or the lining. Thus, some of the most spectacular of the textile artworks created from the 16th through the 19th centuries were those intended for personal satisfaction.The inner back panel of this remarkable Haori has been hand woven of the finest quality Silk in a motif that incorporates two basic shapes: the open book (“Hon”) and the open fan (“Ogi”), that have been, further, intriguingly designed. The two designs bear an interesting relationship as the open book displays a pine filled mountainside leading up to Torii gates, the entry to any Shinto Shrine; while the open fan, representing an open future, contemplates the actual Shrine itself. Additionally, there is a border of handwoven grasses of autumn, honored with viewing parties in Japan, glowingly drawn in a rare shade of pink. The intricacy of this hand woven design testifies that it was created by a Master Weaver.
Only a member of a family of wealth and high status could have worn a garment of this quality for informal use.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.