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Item Tokyo Hikeshi-Banten, Late 1800s
Sashiko-Sakiori Hanten Fireman's Jacket
Age
Late 1800s to early 1900s
Fabric 100% Cotton
Size
Collar down to bottom Edge
37 inches, 93 cm
Across Shoulders & Sleeves, end to end
47 inches, 120 cm
Weight: 3.1 lbs, 1414g
Condition
Excellent Condition. Some very light fading to some areas of the images, especially the gray sections.
Comments
Called Hikeshi-banten in Japanese, a fireman's jacket is a several fabric layered handmade garment fashioned from highly absorbent cotton fabric. The fireman's jacket was drenched with water before he began fighting the fire. It's thick padding of fabric layers allowed for maximum water penetration and cushioning which helped to safeguard the fireman from burns and blunt the harmful impact of falling objects.

The exterior layer is fashioned from sakiori weaving while the liner fabric shows detailed close rows of binding sashiko stitching. The firemen also wore protective hats, gloves and pants which were constructed in the same manner as the jacket.

This hikeshi-banten is decorated with marvelous tsutsugaki made heroic historical/mythical characters that are meaningful and important to the firefighter.

The jacket is reversible. While fighting fires the plain side would be exposed. After the fire had been extinguished, the fireman would reverse his jacket and the decorative images would be displayed to cheering onlookers, pridefully symbolizing a successful outcome.


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