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A Hemp Hanten with Tenugui Patches

Written on April 20, 2010

Today I’m showing something beautiful and unusual: it’s an asa or hemp sleeveless hanten (work coat) that has been patched and mended with scraps of tenugui. BlogTenugui1Tenugui are thin, cotton “towels”: they are made from a simple, unfinished length of cotton and imprinted with designs.  Tenugui are sometimes given as gifts by businesses to clients, so the business name or some image associated with it will be stenciled on the tenugui.  Tenugui are also sold at tourist destinations as a souvenir of the place.  Tenugui are ubiquitous in Japan.BlogTenugui1aThis hanten, which probably dates to the mid-twentieth century, is lavishly patched with tenugui pieces on the front, back, and inside of the coat.BlogTenugui1bEach angle of this coat is excellent.  The back is good; the front is good; the inside is good.  I’m just showing front and back, which I think have a lot of appeal.BlogTenugui1c


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  1. Comment by Adina:

    That is indeed a handsome, rustic version of a yose han-juban. Pair it with the tabi and the flour-sack-lined kimono from your earlier posts and you have quite a combo.

    April 21, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  2. Comment by Lambert:

    Beautiful and original, I love it (especially the back)!

    April 23, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

  3. Comment by Bjo (Dyelady):

    We were given tenugui on our long-ago visit to Japan because our friends knew we were going to travel around on the train. Ours were very modern brightly-colored patterns. John’s were gray and blue striped; mine had bright pink cherry blossoms and another with rows of serious-looking calico cat heads.

    April 30, 2010 @ 8:27 am