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"Antique" Vintage Nobori Banner

"Antique" Vintage Nobori Banner

Gunsen Battle Fans

Regular price $299.00
Regular price Sale price $299.00
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  • Ships from NY
  • One-of-a-kind
  • Sourced from Japan

This listing is for a full length, antique nobori - vintage Japanese banner or flag that would be flown outside the home on Boy's Day (May 5th), possibly along with a fish-shaped banner for each of the children in the home.

This nobori is older than the vintage ones we see more often.  The painting is a bit more primative and the fabric is much thinner.  The tabs sewn in for mounting the banner on a long bamboo pole are also thin and lined with washi paper (!) - which we haven't seen before. (See last photo.)

The imagery is of two samurai in bright red and purple billowing kimono.  Armor has been drawn in almost as an afterthought.  The main focus is on those faces - so fierce and determined. Some gold paint faded but still showing on the purple kimono.

The black fan with a red center is a gunsen - a war fan used to communicate with others on the battlefield. We are at a loss as to what those rounded elements are - a red one behind the figures has the gunsen mounted on top. One of the samurai seems to hold a straw-colored one in a protective way.

The samurai in front is holding another gunsen and also seems to have a bloody dagger in his other hand.

There are two family crests at the top.  (We've never seen a nobori with two crests before.) One is tomoe (looks like three commas) and the other is of three ivy leaves.

We do believe this banner is antique - 100 years old or more - based on the cotton, the motif (we've never seen a bloody knife on nobori from the 50s to now), and the size (lightly shorter and more narrow than more contemporary nobori). But of course, we cannot know the age for sure. 

Creating these banners is quite a process - see video below for how it is done these days and note the difference in color and design between this banner and more contemporary ones.

Length: 4yds, 30"
Width: 19"
Made In (Estimated): 1920s
Condition: Very Good
Fiber: Cotton
Technique: Painted
Colors: Multi
Motifs: Samurai


Low stock: 1 left

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