Antique Japanese Bozugappa (Travel Cape), Edo Period

Adapted from Portuguese priests in the 16th century, it was initially used only by the military elite until the 18th century when the more common classes adopted it as a travel garment. The cape is made of striped cotton fabric on one side and checked cotton fabric on the other. There are eighteen panels laid out in a circular arc with a small upright collar and ivory fasteners. In between the two fabric faces, there is a layer of paper treated in persimmon tannin which helps with protection from rain and adds warmth. You can see part of this liner from a slight loss at the bottom of one of the panels.

Cotton fabric, Edo period, 19th century.(Ref: Yo No Bi, Seattle Art Museum, p.69)