Thu, Nov 12, 2020

TSUMUGU repair work: Maeda Toshiie’s war coat mended with washi and silk

People involved in the repair work of Maeda Toshiie's campaign jacket discuss how to proceed at a repair facility inside the Kyoto National Museum on Nov. 4, 2020. (The Yomiuri Shimbun)

The Tsumugu Project — jointly operated by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, Imperial Household Agency and national daily The Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo) — is providing financial support to help repair a jinbaori campaign jacket once donned by Maeda Toshiie, a 16th-century warlord who served under Oda Nobunaga.

The government-designated important cultural property is owned by Maedaikutokukai Foundation, a public interest incorporated foundation in Tokyo which overlooks cultural properties belonging to the warlord’s descendants. People involved in the repair work, which began in fiscal 2019, gathered at a repair facility inside the Kyoto National Museum on Nov. 4, 2020, to hear a progress report from the repair experts.

A portrait of Shoki, the demon-quelling god, is embroidered on the back of the campaign jacket (The Yomiuri Shimbun)

The battle surcoat from the Momoyama period in Japanese history is adorned with chrysanthemum embroidery on the front and a portrait of Shoki, the demon-quelling deity, embroidered on the other side.

Legend has it that the chrysanthemums were embroidered on the jacket by Maeda Toshiie’s wife Matsu (The Yomiuri Shimbun)

The jacket is well-preserved but has deteriorated on the surface over time. Repair experts have taken it apart to apply super thin washi paper on the back of the surface cloth to prevent further damage. To finish the make over, they will later apply silk cloth on top of the paper for enforcement.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun’s Nov. 5, 2020, issue)

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