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"Ni Ban" Sashiko Coat
"Ni Ban" Sashiko Coat

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Rare Find
Our Price: $699.00
Sale Price: $599.00
Material: Cotton
Length (inches): 42"
Width (inches): 50" Wrist to Wrist
Body (inches): 44" Waist/Hips (buttoned)
Condition: Excellent Vintage

Quantity in Stock:1
Shipping: Orders received before 11am EST ship same day via USPS. Otherwise, next business day.
Product Code: 1118MISC12

"Ni Ban" Sashiko Coat

This is an unusual piece to say the least. It once belonged to someone named Shimizu - his name is embroidered on the inside of the coat.

Shimizu was of the second rank, indicated by the large kanji letter on the back which says ni ban, "number two".

The term "engineer" has as many meanings in Japan as it does in English, so we cannot tell if he was on a ship or in a company. Kanji on the lapels say asahi kikan shi, but we don't know what this refers to - a company, a ship, a division....?

Adding to the coat's story value is the design of the coat itself. Firstly, it is a coat, with a velvet, wrapping collar and button closures. It has a traditional hanten fabric and motif, but is not a traditional Japanese hanten jacket shape. Secondly, it is an elaborately woven sashiko garment - an undertaking that would have taken many months of skilled sewing and cost a great deal. And finally, it is unquestionably one-of-a-kind since the owner's name and rank were stenciled onto the underlying fabric.

Sashiko was used very commonly for firefighters - but there's no clear indication of a fire department in the lettering on this coat.

There is some slight discoloration in the shoulder area and the red background on the back has faded from time but perhaps not from wear. The condition is otherwise very, very good. See photos.

See videos below on indigo dying in Japan and on sashiko stitching.

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