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“Tenugui” (A Japanese Hand Towel)


“Tenugui” is made of cotton.

From antiquity down to the present, hand towels have been a perfect accompaniment to the summer in Japan.

Wearing “Yukata” (Kimono for Summer) with a fashionable hand towel is a style only for summer.

A combination of “Happi” (A costume for a festival) and “Tenugui” always color the joyfulness of a festival.

Hand towel are no longer used much now in Japan, but until the early “Showa period” (1926 – 1989), they were actively used in many aspects of Japanese life regardless of the season.

A Japanese hand towel is thin with high water absorption. Therefore, a hand towel was the item not to be able to part with especially in the summer when it is easy to sweat.

Patterns which looks cool are seen in many hand towels. In the age with no air conditioning, it was a wisdom of the ancients to wear a hand towel which brings them a cool air.

Hand towels began to be used in the “Tumulus period” (AD250 – 538) in Japan.

Hand towels had been used as a ceremonial ornament for ritual events.

It may surprise you that until “Sengoku period” (the Age of Civil Wars : 1467 – 1568)

cotton is more expensive than silk.

In “Edo period” (1603 – 1867), cotton was widely planted in Japan. Then, cotton-made kimono & cotton-made hand towels were widely spread among the ordinary Japanese.

Japanese use a hand towel to wipe something. Hand towels are also practically used to wrap things!!!


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