1000 Stitch Belt-0060

This smaller sized but colorful Senninbari or One-Thousand Stitch amulet is made from a white silk material. Someone has taken a small red ink stamp and marked 1000 red circles across the face of the cloth. Each circle contains a small round red cotton knot that appears to spell out the slogan, “Loyalty to the Sovereign and Patriotism”. The reverse side of the amulet has corresponding flat French style continuous stitches. In the lower left-hand corner of the senninbari, the maker took black cotton thread and sewed the kanji character for the word, “Go”; translated from Japanese, this means “5” in English. The word “Go” or the number “5” had special meaning, particularly on Japanese good luck pieces. According to the book, “Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flags and One-Thousand Stitch Belts”, the number “4” or “shi”, has the same pronunciation as the Japanese word for death. The Japanese see the number “4” as representing the line of death, faced by the military man in battle. Because of that, in this context that number is seen as unlucky. The number “5” or “Go”, on the other hand is seen as going over “4” or beyond the line of death. Therefore, it is to be an encouragement for the man who might face this grave consequence from battle, to do his duty whether death is his fate or not.
This is a very nice senninbari, that holds some fascinating military-cultural meaning.


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