News Letter

News Letter

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No 112

Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market Ichiroya's News Letter No.112.Today I went to Fukuoka City Museum with Yuka to see the exhibition named 'Donza - Unknown Marine Sashiko Collection'.
It was a wonderful exhibition. More than a hundred sashiko donza were collected from all over Japan, and we could enjoy the variety and know their produced places. Ordinarily 'donza' indicates the workwear for fishermen, which are made of layered cotton and fine sashiko stitches on them all over. We heard so, but we didn't know what 'donza' precisely indicates by now. The definition above is right, but we come to know that in some districts 'donza' meant also workwear for ordinary lives. For examples, farmer's wives also wore 'donza' when they worked at fields and mountains. And sometimes yogi ( heavily padded sleeping kimono) was also called 'donza'.In olden times dialects had more variety than now, and commomn words seemed to indicate different items around them. We saw the map, which illustrates the distribution where the words 'donza' was used. Its dots are mainly on the west part of Japan, but also in Hokkaido and Tohoku district dots are put. But we can think most typical 'donza' is from Setouchi (The Inland Sea) district and Kyushu region, where the fishery was flourishing.
The exhibition says,Donza was made by fisherman's mother, grand mother or his wife. They are mainly made of three layered cotton fabrics. Ordinarily fabrics are solid ai dyes cotton, and strip or kasuri cotton were also used sometimes. Very fine sashiko stitches are done all over it, with thick white cotton threads. Sometimes blue dyed or black dyed threads were also used. Because of its elaborate handworks, supreme donza needed to be made for two or three years. Sashiko stitches were to strengthen the fabrics, and give the warmth to fabrics, which were necessory for the hard job on the fishing boats. But it was also for decoration, in which women had to compete their senses.There seems to be two kinds of donza - one was worn during their daily work on the ships. Such kinds of donza at the exhibition are well well worn, and sashiko stitches are comparatively rough. They are really work wear, and textiles, stitches and repaired parts are made for real hard use.But another type of donza is a kind of gala attire - owners only wore them at the special occasions, like bossing the fishery job or going out into the town. As we feel now, incredibly elaborate sashiko works elated owners, and they had to use with great care. Such type of donza has exceptionally fine and artistic sashiko stitches all over it - some look as if its patterns were dyed or woven. The exhibition says there might be the professional sashiko artisans for such kind of supreme sashiko works.
At this exhibition we felt and enjoyed the fishermen's pride, their tough life, women's affections , their unique traditions and so on. This exhibition is held until Sep 25th. If you are happened to be in Japan, we would like to recommend you to visit there. In furture we would like to add supreme donza to our collection ( shops ). Always we are strongly enchanted by this kind of folklore touch wears. And we noticed that some sashiko noragi, which we offered and sold, might be called 'donza' by their original owners.
**We are adding haneri(collar), geta, haori, sakori and bolts in about5-6 hours.Please check our new arrivals.Thank you very much for reading our newsletter. We wish you a peaceful new week.Ichiro & Yuka WadaKimono Flea Market "ICHIROYA"
e-mail: info@ichiroya.comaddress: Asia-shoji Bldg.301 1841-1 Nishi 1 chome Wakamatsu cho Tondabayashi city Osaka 584-0025 JAPANTEL&FAX ****( international number ) - 81-721-23-5446


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