For Students

Past Exhibitions: 2001

Japanese Fishermen's Coats from Awaji Island

October 13, 2001 - January 6, 2002
West Gallery

Coat (sashiko no donza)
From Tonouchi, Hokudan-chô, Awaji Island
First half of 20th century
Made by Hashimoto Yuu (1879?-1963)
133 x 126 cm
Hokudan Town Historical and Ethnographic Museum
Photograph by Don Cole

Sashiko no donza are coats of indigo-dyed cotton that have been strengthened and embellished with white thread embroidery. The technique of simple running stitches (sashiko) is found throughout Japan, but on the rural island of Awaji, fisherwomen exploited its possibilities with verve and imagination. Their dazzlingly complex patterns transformed these utilitarian work clothes into ceremonial wear and emblems of high status. The exhibition features twenty-two of these breathtakingly beautiful garments, as well as materials that place them in their social and aesthetic context.

The exhibition was organized and produced by the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, and the University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Support for the Ann Arbor showing was provided by the Friends of the Museum of Art, the University of Michigan's Center for Japanese Studies, the Doris Sloan Memorial Fund, and the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund.


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