刺子半纏 町火消は組町頭所用

Firefighter Jacket Owned by the Head of Ha Gumi 刺子半纏 町火消は組町頭所用

The city of Edo repeatedly has been a victim to many large-scale fires. In 1720 (Ky?ho 5), 47 teams (later 48) of firefighters, divided according to the hiragana letters of ""iroha"", were formed to protect the area west of Sumida River. Another 16 teams were later created to protect the Honjo and Fukagawa area, and all groups continued to be the basis of the city's fire prevention system until the end of the Edo period. This is a firefighter jacket worn by a firefighter of ""ha gumi"" that was in charge of the Nihombashi ?denmach? area. The hiragana, ""ha"", can ben seen on the back side, and illustrations of wooden tags called ""keshifuda"" with the words ""ha gumi"" and ""keshikuchi"" are designed around the waist. Keshikuchi refers to a point location determined by firefighters to prevent the spread of fire. They also used keshifuda to signify where their team exstinguished the fire and to proclaim their achievement. On the inside of the jacket, we find a dragon flying through the clouds, a motif favored by firefighters due to its association with water. The jacket embodies the spirit of town firefighters.
Collection of
Edo-Tokyo Museum
Firefighter Jacket Owned by the Head of Ha Gumi
Collection ID
Lifestyle and Folk Custom
Creation Date
95 cm x 122.4cm
Edo-Tokyo Museum Digital Archives

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