Condition: Excellent, Great

Small Indigo Country Vest | Mottainai

This Pre-1920’s Indigo country vest was hand-made by the wives of farmers, fisherman, and lumbermen in rural communities throughout Japan in the Meiji period (1868-1912) through the early Showa period beginning in 1926. The wear and tear evident on garments called Mottainai reflects the hard-scrabble lives of the people who made and wore them every day in the fields and forests. “Mottai” was originally a Buddhist term that referred to the “essence of things.” Applied to everything in the physical universe, the word suggests that objects do  not exist in isolation but are intrinsically linked to one another. “Nai” is a negation, so “mottainai” is an expression of sadness for the disrespect that is shown when any living or non-living entity is wasted. The vest shown represent the spirit of “mottainai”.

The sides of the vest are open and held together by cotton straps that are intact. There is a brown cotton patch on the back top right which is typical of these garments, otherwise there are no holes or imperfections on the piece. The ½” indigo binding outlining the garment along with the 2” indigo collar banding are slightly faded but in good condition. Cotton inner lining is in good condition. Vintage garments may show signs of wear, imperfections and recycling (mottainai), which enhances the uniqueness of this cultural item. Color: Indigo and Earth Brown. Approximate Size: Ladies Medium

Dimensions: 14 ½”w x 23 ¾”L (36.8cm x 60.3cm)

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