Monday, November 21, 2016

Sixteenth-Century Setta Sandals

Our tribe has decided to preserve a very specific type of artifact in our proposed archive: sixteenth-century setta sandals.

Setta sandals (also spelled "seta") were, according to tradition, invented by Japanese tea master Sen no Rikyu for wear during tea ceremonies on snowy days.  At the time, the two dominant shoe types were called "zori" and "geta."  Because zori were traditionally made of straw, they would soak up the water one would pour in one's garden to start a tea ceremony.  However, they were once the fashion trend, before the geta sandals came along, and many future grooms gave these to his bride as an engagement gift.

Geta Sandals
Zori Sandals

Geta, made of wood, were unfit for wear on snowy days, for they left large footprints in snow. This shoe had a reputation that one could hear them before they could see them. Since they were made of wood, they tended to clack against the ground in a loud manor. This sound has been reported as heavily missed because they are no longer worn as much, so the clacking is scarce.

A modern pair of setta sandals

This form of sandal resembles a common flip-flop, though the two have much different compositions.  Setta sandals have a hanao (strap), a ten (insole), a nakaita (middle board), a kasane (heel), and a sole.  There are also some metal pieces and glue that bind the shoe together.  The nakaita is made of wood, and the sole is made of leather.  When one walks in setta sandals properly, one makes a clicking noise, which is considered fashionable.

Though setta sandals are still worn today, they have fallen in and out of fashion over the course of time. As of today,they are mostly worn by Buddhist monk's. For this archive, Just Us Hugh Manatees would like to try to preserve examples of this curious shoe from the century in which they were first conceived.  It may be very difficult to find surviving pairs, but any we find would be valued as historical artifacts.  How many objects manufactured today have been around for as long as these sandals and possess such a singular reason for their existence?  Not too many, we would wager.

No comments:

Post a Comment