Fireman's coat

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Fireman's coat

19th century

This thickly quilted coat was worn by firefighters in 19th-century Japan. It was soaked in water before it was put on to help protect the fireman. Like other firefighter coats of this period, the exterior has a brigade identification and the inside bears elaborate designs of rabbits pounding mochi (rice cake), alluding to the folklore of the rabbit in the moon.
49 1/4 x 49 1/4 in. (125.1 x 125.1 cm)
Gift of the Christensen Fund
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Beyond The Tanabata Bridge: A Textile Journey In Japan (Washington, D.C., Textile Museum, Sept. 10, 1993 - Feb. 27, 1994; Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham Museum of Art, Apr. 17 - June 26, 1994; Dallas, Texas, Dallas Museum of Art, Mar. 12 - May 28, 1995).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Rabbit, Cat and Horse; Endearing Creatures in Japanese Art, Dec. 21, 2002 - Mar. 16, 2003.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Legends, Tales, Poetry: Visual Narrative in Japanese Art, Dec. 22, 2012 - July 21, 2013.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing [on view Feb. 8, 2020 - July 11, 2021].
Published ReferencesRathbun, William Jay, Seattle Art Museum, "Beyond The Tanabata Bridge: Traditional Japanese Textiles", 1993 Seattle, Washington.

Foong, Ping, Xiaojin Wu, and Darielle Mason. "An Asian Art Museum Transformed." Orientations vol. 51, no. 3 (May/June 2020): p. 59, reproduced fig. 20 (installation view).

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM

Supported by Microsoft logo