Happi (worker’s jacket)
Cotton
Stenciled, rice paste resist

This exuberant garment is a worker’s jacket, and identifies the wearer as part of a group. The top character is HAYA, meaning fast; the central character, written in its old pre-reform style, is most likely pronounced RAKU – comfort, enjoyment, but could also be GAKU – music. The triple circle is interesting because the designer has probably made ingenious use of the character 川, KAWA, meaning river, and transformed it into an integral part of the design. Hayakawa is a popular surname.  The bold repeated crest at the hem is the futatomoe mon, or two commas crest.

Just as there were books for ordering kimono designs, there were also books for ordering happi designs, such as the one below.

cropped design book with happi samples

 

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