Child’s play fireman’s hat (?)
Cotton
Tsutsugaki rice paste resist; dyes, pigments

This fireman’s hat is made of material designed to be part of a fireman’s jacket, but in all likelihood is a child’s plaything: It is far too small for an adult’s head [notice the puckering at the seam across the top of the head], and lacks a protective visor and sideflaps, as well as the sashiko stitching and the padding inserted for water absorption.

Above and below are the left and right profiles of the hat. The two sides are sewn asymmetrically, implying that perhaps there was only a limited amount of material available, or possibly that one tie was at some point torn away, necessitating a reconfiguation of the hat.

The back of the hat when flattened out.

While there is no conclusive proof that this was a child’s play hat, since western children like to wear the hats of heroic public service figures such as policemen, firemen, astronauts, etc., it would not be surprising if Japanese children also enjoyed wearing such gear.

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