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    In this, the second installment, I've decided to have hagoromo follow the  phoenix as a topic for a simple reason - they are often easily confused. Hagoromo literally means robe of feathers: ha (hane) means feather(s) and koromo means robe. Sanseido's WebDictionary defines it as “A robe made of feathers worn by heavenly beings to fly”.
This robe of feathers usually has a collar at the neck from which the feathers flow, much like a traditional Japanese straw rain coat in structure.
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    This portion of a futon cover is especially interesting not only because of the motif, but due to the combination of dye techniques used
    The basic story is a very old one and is claimed by several regions of Japan.
    Best known is the Hagoromo of Miho-no-matsubara in Shizuoka Prefecture.This version has been made famous through the Noh Theater play by the same name.  
    The gist of the story is that a fisherman finds a set of beautiful wings hung from the branches of an ancient pine tree. As he marvels at it's splendor, a heavenly being approaches him and asks that he return the robe or she'll never be able to return whence she came. In gratitude she dons the robe and dances in reward bestowing her blessings upon the region.
   Click here to read the full text of the play in English: HAGOROMO.
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    This is a rather humorous young girl’s kimono. The hagoromo seems to have taken on a life of it’s own and is flying independantly of any angelic guidance! In contrast to the stencil dyed piece above, this garment has been dyed using a process called tsutsugaki, in which the rice paste is applied with a cone (much like writing “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” on a cake). Notice the pine trees as a key element of the design.
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with John Marshall
Welcome new friends and old! I've often been asked to write about a variety of Japanese textile and culture related subjects. This page allows me the opportunity to address your requests and to ramble off on side subjects wherever my whim and imagination lead.
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Ichiroya has graciously allowed me to use images from their site to illustrate my ramblings. This is not a financial arrangement I have made - I simply believe them to be wonderful people with whom I enjoy doing business, and wish to support their endeavors. Ichiroya is a web based treasure trove of Japanese textiles, antiques, and information. If you haven't visited them in the past, just click on the icon to the left! Or, click on any of the images below to be taken directly to their page for more images and information.
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Akita Prefecture
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as well. It dyed using using a combination of bengara (iron rust) and indigo. The white portion of the outline is first applied to the fabric with a stencil and rice paste, the bengara (also known as benigara) is most commonly applied with a brush. This is followed by another layer of paste applied with a stencil– this time to mask the rust. The entire piece is then dipped into the indigo until the desired depth of blue is achieved.
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