Lot 445

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A scarce relic World War II relic, a thickly padded air raid hood called the Bokuzukin meant to protect the wearer from heat and embers during an air raid. The hood is crafted from blue and white dotted cotton fabric called Ikat (Kasuri) which was sewn to another layer to form a thick quilt, with ribbons around the hood to tie tightly under the chin. The hood has a wide collar to protect the shoulders, too. It measures 23" long and 40" in diameter at the bottom, 13" deep and 10 1/2" high, making it likely for an adult woman who, as the war went on, began carrying these hoods at all times as well as those for their children. A fabric tag sewn within reads: "Sendai City, Koushoji Tori 51", with the owner's name and blood type: "Onodera Keiko, Type B". In homeland Japan, groups like the Imperial Reservists Association and the Greater Japan National Defense Women's Association began training civilians to fight with fire in times of raids. Civilians were instructed to have a large tank of water in the house at all times for emergency, and were taught anti-fire tactics such as bucket relay and using a bamboo pole with ropes designed to wipe out small fires. However obviously these tactics were terribly ineffective against the advanced technology of American bombers and air maneuvers. On July 20, 1945, 123 B-29 bombers dropped 10,961 incendiary bombs on Sendai in a raid lasting over two hours: 17% of the city was burnt down. The hood is in very good condition, with little sign of use. A most unusual item!

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December 16, 2010 11:00 AM EST
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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