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80129-0031 - Japanese woman in winter clothing, 1890s

Okosozukin and Furoshiki

Artist Unknown
Publisher Unknown
Medium Albumen Print
Period Meiji
Location Studio
Image No. 80129-0031-OS
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In this studio photo, a Japanese woman in a thick winter kimono has an okosozukin (御高祖頭巾) wrapped around her head to protect her against the cold. In her hands she holds something wrapped in a furoshiki (風呂敷), a Japanese wrapping cloth.

She is wearing geta and her hair is done in a traditional manner.

Okosozukinfirst became popular during the Kyoho era (1716-1736). They were made of silk crape. Young women wore purple, light purple and red colored okosozukin, while they were dark blue, gray and steel gray for middle-aged women.

Furoshiki were used to transport small items like clothes, gifts, a bento box or even merchandise in transport to a customer. During the Edo Period they were used a lot to wrap up ones clothes while taking a bath in the sento. That is how they got their current name, which actually means bath spread. Previously, they were called hiratsutsumi (平包).

Furushiki lost ground to the plastic bag in the postwar period, but thanks to environmental concern they have recently been making a comeback.

Interestingly, the photographer made use of the same backdrop of Mount Fuji as used in Woman in the Rain, Women in Travel Wear and Woman with Umbrella.


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Reference for Citations

Duits, Kjeld (). 1890s: Okosozukin and Furoshiki, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on December 3, 2022 (GMT) from

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