Senninbari is a ritual belt of cloth that is decorated with 1,000 stitches, each stitch made by a different woman. Senninbaris were given as amulets to soldiers on their way to war to bestow protection and bring good luck. It is a custom rooted in Shinto tradition of Japan.

Senninbaris were made by female relatives of the soldier who solved the logistics of getting 1,000 women to contribute to the effort by placing themselves at entrances to temples, train stations or stores and asking passers-by to sew in one stitch per person, except for women born in the year of the tiger who could sew 12 stitches each.

This custom started in the late 19th century and became very popular during WW2 when women’s organizations would have mass gatherings to make them to meet demand When used as belts Senninbaris would have snaps or ties, without these, they would be folded to carry in pockets.

This Senninbari has the 1,000 stitches sewn with yellow yarn onto printed blue dots, all in neat rows below the red circle of the Japanese flag, which is flanked by the slogan “Eternal good luck in war”.

Circa: Circa 1940s

Origin: Japan

Material: Silk embroidered cotton

Condition: Minor holes and stains, good condition

Dimensions: 13.5” x 53”

Inventory number: NS0007



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