Tenugui - Cats, Octopus and Blowfish
Tenugui is a plain weave thin cotton cloth about 35½" x 13" in size. It has been used for centuries in Japan and became particularly ubiquitous during the edo period (17th to mid-19th centuries). It is almost always printed, and is used for a variety of purposes from washcloth to headband.
The design of this tenugui is by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, one of the last great masters of the ukiyo-e. The ukiyo-e depicts a slice of life of all sorts of creatures as well as highly stylized designs such as this tenugui. It shows contoured cats forming the Japanese words for octopus (tako) and blowfish (fugu) in hiragana.
The finish of this tenuqui is unique that all four sides are stitched. (Standard cotton fabric for tenugui is woven in 13" width so long sides are selvedges; cut sides are left unhemmed.)
Use the tenugui as dish towel, long bandana to wipe sweat or wrap your head like a ramen master. If you are interested in more background of tenugui, there is an excellent article in Tofugu.
- 100% cotton
- 35" x 12½”
- Made in Japan
Who Makes it
Yamamoto Jin Shoten of Kyoto is a textile converter in business since the 18th century. Combining tradition with modern taste they produce apparel and small textile goods. The tenugui are dyed in Osaka and sewn in Kyoto and Osaka.