Antique Bashofu Noragi, Banana Fiber Work Jacket


This is an antique striped bashofu noragi, or work jacket.

Kijōka-bashōfu is the Japanese craft of making cloth from the bashō or Japanese banana fiber, as practiced in Okinawa. Much like linen, hemp and other bast fibers it does not stick to the skin in hot weather, and is therefore suitable for summer wear and the climate typical of Okinawa. 

To make basho-fu the trees are stripped and softened fibers are extracted. The fibers are then woven to produce a light-weight and strong cloth. The color of the fiber forms the background and then patterns are woven in, typically either indigo, or brown as seen here.

Bashofu is highly collectible within Japan and elsewhere. It's importance and history is well recognized and has been recognized and safeguarded as intangible cultural property within Japan.

This work jacket is in very good condition save for a loose seam along the hem and a repaired tear along the back. The structural integrity of the cloth is very good. A wonderful example of a bashofu garment.

Early 1900s
Dimensions: 42 x 41in; 107 x 104cm


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