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Item Tokyo Hikeshi-Banten, Late 1800s
Sashiko-Sakiori Hanten Fireman's Jacket
Late 1800s to early 1900s
Fabric 100% Cotton
Collar down to bottom Edge
37 inches, 93 cm
Across Shoulders & Sleeves, end to end
47 inches, 120 cm
Weight: 3.1 lbs, 1414g
Excellent Condition. Some very light fading to some areas of the images, especially the gray sections.
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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.

The fireman’s objective was to prevent a burning house from spreading its flames onward to the surrounding dwellings. The greatest danger was that when a house caught fire in the densely populated city, the flames would quickly spread to the neighboring residences. This meant that the fireman's task was not save the home in flame, but rather to tear down the burning structure and extinguish the fire. He worked with long poles and other fire implements to demolish the blazing house. Once the fire had been doused, the surrounding homes were once again safe. Most structures of the time were vulnerable to fires because they were lightly constructed of wood and paper.

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