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An Old Shima Cho: Stripe Album

Written on January 9, 2014

ShimaCho093I really love shima cho or “stripe albums.”   Shima cho are said to be a collection of home weaving samples taken by a new bride when she leaves home and joins her husband’s family.  Carrying an album of home weaving is a way for the bride to remember the weaving patterns of her birth family.

ShimaCho093aI’ve always thought this notion was a bit prosaic, but that’s what’s said of shima cho in Japan.  This one I’m showing today is a beautiful one.  I think it’s from the mid 19th century and it shows a very good selection of hand loomed cottons that are dyed in natural dyes.

ShimaCho093bIt shows a lot of plaids, which I love, including one of my favorite types of old cotton, a woven, basket weave type plaid called sankuzushi in Japan.


ShimaCho093d Below is a close-up of a wonderful example of sankuzushi.

ShimaCho093eThis shima cho was featured with other items from my collection on the website Bureau of Trade.  And I’m offering it for sale here on my website.






One Comment

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  1. Comment by Teruko Nesbitt:

    I have never heard of shima cho, so thank you so much for sharing. Seems like it is from Izushi-cho which locates north east of Hyogo prefecture. Also the front page said “Meiji 72-nen ” which is 1939. I have been living in the states for 16 years and getting old :), I appreciate things about Japan more and more. Thank you again!
    Not important but just fyi the last photo is upside down. Teruko

    January 10, 2014 @ 10:02 am