Antique Japanese maiwai, katazome stencil dye on cotton, padded and in excellent condition, 51"(4'2") x 51", circa Meiji (1868-1912) to Taisho period (1912-1926). This maiwai is old but has been well maintained, pretty clean condition without any odor. One damaged area (did not go through to the liner) was repaired with very small stitches (photo #9). The photo #10 shows the area before it was repaired with stitches and filled with red color.
Maiwai was the pride of Japanese fishermen. In the year of the 'great catch', a roll of dyed fabric was given to the crews of the fishing boat by the captain of the boat (or owners of the business. The fabric was sewn into a robe usually by their wives, mothers or someone close for the New Years day. These were not just given to everyone in the boat, they had to earn it. Before the New Year’s festival begins, they went to the shrine as a group for the New Years prayer; thanking god for their safety, good catches and prayed for the new year to be a good year. The ritual was followed by 'sake and dine' feasts that lasted for days, usually at their boss' home. On average, each fisherman used to own several maiwai in their life. Seeing many fishermen in their maiwai must have raised the spirits of people in fishing communities.