4 / 2004

Japan - Men's straw snow boots

Within living memory, straw has been used by Japanese people to produce footwear of all kinds. Bamboo-sheath, rice-straw, ryukyu-rush, alpinia-speciosa and wisteria-vine are commonly used to produce "zori"-sandals with straps; "waraji"-sandals with strings; "waragutsu"-straw mules; "asagutsu"-straw or wooden shoes; and "fukagutsu"-straw boots. The Fukagutsu boot shown here, styled in the Iwate region, dates from the Meidji period - 1868 to 1912 and was used to walk in snow, as it is still done today.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland