Antique Japanese fireman’s hood. Made of layers of indigo cotton sashiko and decorated on the inside with a scene of a tiger and lightening storm.
Fires were common in Japanese urban areas due to the dense population as well as construction material (primarily wood and paper). Fire brigades were made up of samurai class (buke hikeshi) as well as common class (machi hikeshi). Their primary goal in containing a fire was to tear down the surrounding buildings so the fire had no more fuel. Special garments like this hood were worn after being drenched in water as a way to protect the wearer from flaming embers. Dramatic designs depicting scenes of strength were a preferred decoration and thought to protect the wearer.
Age: Edo Period (early 1800’s)
Dimensions: 28″ high (41″ high x 30″ wide when displayed to show the inside design)