Gusoku Shita or Yoroi Shita (lit., under armor)
Asa, silk velvet, tortoise shell (button)
Combination handpainting and tsutsugaki(?) with bengara (iron oxide pigment)

Gusoku shita is the layer of clothing worn under armor to protect the skin. Below, the pale blue asa lining and two waist ties are visible; above, to the left at the waistline, a small opening was made to pass one of the ties through.

The dye of the checked jacket is very interesting. Although the Japanese had very technically advanced dyeing skills, this checkerboard is dyed with rustic unevenness. Many of the squares are slightly off angle. The color may have been applied partly by hand and partly by tsutsugaki (rice paste resist applied with a paper tube). The velvet in the collar was hard to come by, and much favored as a luxury trim.

Daily Japanese Textile would like to thank Mr. Akio Mitsuno, who so graciously and generously shared his expertise and time, for his help with this entry. Mr. Mitsuno is the owner of
Saiyuu2 in Kyoto, which specializes in rare and unusual antique Japanese textiles.

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