The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.
2007/65/6 Tabi (pair), split toe socks, pair, childs, cotton / metal, Japan, 1930-1940. Click to enlarge.

Pair of tabi socks from Japan

This collection of kimono and kimono accessories including an obi, obi scarf, geta (Japanese sandals), tabi (split toe socks), obi purses and hair decorations are an important addition to the Museum's holdings of Asian costume. Clothing is one of the richest expressions of material culture helping to define cultural identity.

The kimono is one of the most recognisable of national costumes. The stylised and colourful kimono expresses the aesthetic sensibilities, culture and customs of the …


Object No.


Object Statement

Tabi (pair), split toe socks, pair, childs, cotton / metal, Japan, 1930-1940

Physical Description

Pair of tabi (split toe socks) made of cotton with drill cotton soles. The socks have a centre seam with a split at the back of the ankle, two rows of cording at the side of the ankle and two metal tags at the back of the ankle.


Marks: on one tag of each sock, the tag is stamped with Japanese characters and 18.0




The maker of the tabi is unknown. Tabi are socks with a separation between the large toe and the rest of the toes so that they may be worn comfortably with Japanese sandals.



This children's pair of tabi (split toe socks) was worn by the donor when she was a child living in Japan. The donor was born in Japan and lived there for approximately three years before repatriating to Australia as a result of World War II.

Typically children of three, five and seven years of age dress in ceremonial kimono and go to Shinto shrines for blessings. The girls wear very colourful kimono and adorn their hair with cheerful hair ornaments. Young boys wear a kimono and haori decorated with the family crest and pleated pants or hakama which are lightly patterned.


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs Judith Mason, 2007

Acquisition Date

18 June 2007

Cite this Object


Pair of tabi socks from Japan 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 January 2022, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Pair of tabi socks from Japan |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 January 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}