Boy’s padded kimono with daruma, antique credit vouchers
Silk, waste silk
Stencil printed dyes

The expression associated with the short, round daruma is “fall seven times, rise eight times”, making him a symbol of good fortune and positive outlook.

The rectangular slips, called hansatsu (“province bills”) were a kind of credit slip that was exchanged among Japanese in lieu of cash during the Edo period (1600 – 1868). The kimono expresses the family’s wish that this child grow up to be successful and wealthy. By the time this kimono was made, in the early years of the 20th century, hansatsu were no longer in use, but their meaning was still clear.

The small semamori (back talisman) in auspicious red and white silk thread depicts a child’s top.

Above are the front and reverse of a hansatsu valued at one momme of silver and dated 1829 (Bunsei 12). The figure at the top of the hansatsu is Daikokuten, the god of wealth. In accordance with tradtion, he sits on two bales of rice, which is particularly appropriate on a hansatsu, since the economy was based on units of rice during the Edo period. At the base of the hansatsu, in further reference to the monetary connection, the seven treasures are depicted.

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