Leaf from book of men’s haori lining designs

This design for a haori lining depicts today’s holiday of Setsubun, a festival of the lunar new year, in which it is traditional to welcome the new year by yelling “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!” – Out with demons, in with good fortune. The demons are chased out by the throwing of beans, as seen here. That the artist has chosen jolly Otafuku to throw the beans adds to the humor of the scene.

Technically, the artist has engineered a wry tour de force. In the background are four fusuma (sliding doors), the far left and right of which are partially open, allowing the two comical ogres to escape. The artist has incorporated the open doors into the design so that the darkness outside will be rendered by the linings of the sleeve openings. Additionally, the handles of the fusuma are located more or less exactly where the kamon, or family crests, would be. Finally, the designer has incorporated the hem, which is usually made of the dark outer material, so that it looks as though Otafuku’s robes have settled around her in a pool of fabric as she sits on the tatami floor.

The design is interesting on several levels. First is that it is a lining. It is meant to be enjoyed by the wearer, and will be seen by very few people, yet clearly a lot of work will go into it, and has already gone into the design process alone. The outer will be very plain and somber. In the design, we can see by the collar, sleeve openings and hem that the artist imagined a black haori.

A closer look at the paper (above) shows that there is embossing in the shape of mist across the fusuma. The pale green beans are also embossed.

Click here for a more thorough explanation of Setsubun from Wikipedia.

For additional information about Otafuku, click here.

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