Fireman's hat with dragon, ID open Daily Japanese Textile IMG_0045

Fireman’s hat
Sashiko, stenciled paste resist, dyes, pigments

As one often sees in Japanese textiles, this fireman’s hat is elaborately decorated on the inside (above), and austerely monochrome on the outside (below). Since, during the Tokugawa shogunate, conspicuous consumption was frowned upon, the response of the wealthy was not to eschew consumption, but to continue to consume while hiding it from the prying eyes of the authorities. This tradition of hidden luxury continued long after the dismantling of the shogunate. It is standard, for example, for 20th century men’s haoris to have dark, drab exteriors that give no hint of the compelling designs in their linings.

Fireman's hat with dragon, ID closed Daily Japanese Textile IMG_0055

It is very rare that a garment can be associated with a particular owner, but in this case there is a name tag sewn into the inside of the hat. It reads (right to left and top to bottom) Shizuoka-shi, Kami Yokota-cho, Sakai Tsunekichi – the owner’s city, address and name.

Fireman's hat with dragon, ID name Daily Japanese Textile IMG_0051

The red (probably cinnabar) in this ear gusset was protected from light and friction, and seems to have suffered little loss of color.

Fireman's hat with dragon, ID fiber detail - ear gusset Daily Japanese Textile IMG_0047