Written on September 23, 2008
A view onto an exquisite kogin kimono: white cotton thread-counted embroidery on indigo dyed hemp. Kogin were made on the northernmost point of Honshu, in remote and cold Aomori Prefecture; their production heydey was the late nineteenth century and the locus was Aomori’s Tsugaru District. The Mingeikan or the Japan Folk Craft Museum in Tokyo–the international mecca for Japanese folk craft–shows a remarkable kogin which can be seen here.
Sashiko stitched patterns varied from place to place in Aomori Prefecture and precious white cotton thread–cotton was a luxury in that area in nineteenth century Japan–was thought to be reminiscent of the deep snow of Tsugaru.
It is the bodice that is stitched. The skirt and arm areas are applied to the bodice and can be replaced. Certain stitched patterns were thought to have the power to ward off evil.