Fireman's coat (kajibanten)

Edo period
19th century

Object Place: Japan


99 x 129 cm (39 x 50 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Leather (deerskin), silk; paste-resist stenciling with smoke-induced color (inden or fusube-gawa), oblique interlacing (cords)

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Fireman’s reversible deerskin coat (kajibanten). The outer face is decorated at center back with the crest (mon) of the firefighting company, produced by paste-resist stenciling and indigo dyeing. On the face normally worn inside, paste resist is stenciled onto the leather which is smoked to darken the areas not reserved by the paste, a technique known as inden or fusube-gawa. The sawa character on the upper back also acts as a mon; the lower half is decorated with stylized ideograms. The silk cords are later replacements.


Purchased by the MFA on June 26, 1996

Credit Line

Edwin E. Jack Fund