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A Group of Western Style Japanese Shirts Sewn from Hand Woven Japanese Cottons

Written on January 22, 2010

Shown today are eight Western tailored shirts sewn from traditional, Japanese cotton cloth, most probably sewn some time around 1950 or 1960.  The cloth of some of the shirts is older, and each of these small garments is unused.


Judging from their small size, bright colors and patterns, and the way the buttons fasten, most of the shirts shown here were intended for women and girls.  The shirt shown bottom, center in the photo above seems to have been for a man.

ShirtsBlog1bThe shirt, above, closes with metal snaps.  The shirt, below, closes with white, plastic buttons.  Each of these eight shirts is machine stitched.ShirtsBlog1cThe shirts shown above and the two below are sewn from kasuri or ikat woven cotton.ShirtsBlog1d

ShirtsBlog1eThese shirts are an interesting illustration of Western fashion infiltrating Japanese daily life, a trend that began in the Meiji Era (1868-1912), when Japan moved from being an insular, feudal society toward a more international, modern one.   20th century shirts such as the last one pictured (below), the shirt with the “Henley collar,” were often worn by male workers under a traditional noragi or hanten as they worked the fields.ShirtsBlog1fThe man’s shirt, below, fastens with white, plastic buttons–and the fabric is a wonderful, hand loomed indigo dyed cotton.  The shirt is partially lined.ShirtsBlog1g

This is a really delightful group of garments from old Japan–and if you are small enough, they’d be great fun to wear.

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  1. Comment by Lambert:

    How cool are those shirts! I really like the combination of the patterns and the fabrics that were used. (Very clever display.)

    April 30, 2010 @ 12:00 pm