Monday, March 31, 2008

Protective Power of a Thousand Stitches

Embroidered senninbari garments ("Thousand Person Stitches") were simple caps, belts or vests that Japanese women would give to soldiers to wear before they went into battle. I love the public-stitching-jam aspect of making one: "a woman from the family or community would stand in a busy location like the entrance to a train station and entreat passersby to add one stitch each. When one thousand stitches had been collected, the belt was believed by some to have special power to protect the bearer from the hazards of battle." Beautiful.