This hikeshi banten is from Meiji period(1868-1912) or earlier. It has FABULOUS picture in the lining!
Famous 'Uji River Senjinarasoi( competition to be the first rider in a charge ) is dyed. In the left upper part, Takatsuna Sasaki on white horse, and in the bodice part, Kagesue Kajiwara on the black horse are dyed vividly. It was the battle of Yoshitsune
vs Yoshinaka Kiso, which was fought around the Uji River in 1184.
The picture imply the 'Win The Competition'.
Please enjoy its wonderful details with more photos.
Super rare item for the connoisseurs.
*We call the firemen's jacket as 'Hikeshi Sashiko Banten'. It is made of multiple layered cotton, and was designed to be wetted and to protect firemen from bruises and burns. Sashiko stitches reinforced the cloth to protect the body against the heat, cool and droppings.
In the inside they have vivid pictures, which are deeply rooted in the tatoos. Themes are dragon, tiger and samurai, and they were drawn with vivid and vigorous touch.
Firemen wore the jacket with the right side (which has only simple design) out while working. They were widely admired for their skills, bravery and morality, just like as the spacemen today. In Edo period (1603-1867), fires often occurred in town, and they couldn't easily be extinguished. Because there were not the electricity, so people had to use candles or lantern in their house, and once the fires occurred, fires spread very fast because the material of houses are wood and papers. Firemen helped the people, and pulled down the housed downwind of fires, in order to prevent the flames from engulfing others. Firemen were proud that they cost their lives to saving strangers, and they were considered to be manlier and braver than anyone else.
After the fire fighting ended, the fire firemen wore the jacket inside out. They walked back streets with displaying the vigorous pictures triumphantly . They might go drinking with jacket too. People had to admire and thank them to see their style.
The pictures of firemen jacket have similar design with tattoos. Nowadays tattoo are associated with desperation, outsiders ore criminals, but in Edo period tattoo evolved such images. Heroes of popular prints books had tattoo on the backs, and Edo people liked them. Most town firemen in Edo had splendid tattoos on their back,and they were considered to be the proof of manly and chivalrous men. So the town firemen in Edo period didn't need pictures inside, and mainly they wore the sashiko jacket with repeated pattern in the outside. But penal provisions forbidding tattoos were issued 1872, and since then tattoo have been treated as illegal. Tattoo seems to have bad image gradually from end of the Edo period, because of the opening of Japan to the world. So the firemen jackets from ending of Edo period, Meiji period (1868-1912) and later has pictures inside on behalf of the tattoos.