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The Jacket's tsutsugaki* images were closely connected to the fireman and his mission to extinguish fires. Every member of a single fire brigade had the same images on their jackets to manifest unity and camaraderie of their group.

*tsutsugaki - free-hand paste-resist decorating method

Jacket's images: (compare discription below to the bottom-left number on the image)

1. Onigawara
A decorative ridge-end tile cap with the image of a Japanese oni (ogre or goblin) and often seen on Buddhist temples. It was placed prominently on the temple or house roof for the purpose of warding off and/or driving away evil spirits. We believe the kanji writing means "roof tile".

2. Elephant

In Buddhist's literature the elephant is a symbol of physical and mental strength, as well as responsibility and heartiness. Beyond the religious symbolic meanings, the elephant possesses a long snout which spews water, perhaps a somewhat whimsical implication.

3. Roof ridge-end tile cap or kawara. We believe the kanji writing means "rice field".

4 & 5. Both images are unknown items. The kanji writing on # 5 means "new" we believe.