Rain Cape, T2011.1.1
On this cloudy and rainy day, our Object of the Week is a rare and unique piece from the TMC’s collection.
This is a man’s formal cape called a date-gera from the 1930s, and it’s currently on display in the Diligence and Elegance: the Nature of Japanese Textiles exhibition. In Japan, capes for work, travel and formal occasions were historically made from local plant materials such as grass, straw, seaweed and bark. Similarly, this cape is made with a grass called mige, dried and softened, and decorated with linden tree bark. Strands of seaweed are attached to the surface and wrapped into the neckline. Date-gera capes were made for formal occasions and were embellished with a combination of colourful plant fibres, thickness, and structure. This formal cape would have been worn for the New Year and other celebrations.