These adult shoes belonged to the donor’s grandmother’s brother, who traded English clogs and received these while serving in Singapore for the British Army in the early 1900s.
One of the more fascinating aspects of footwear is the cultural overlap, even from thousands of years ago, when communication between nations would not have been possible, yet our ideas of how to cover the foot were similar.
The Japanese balanced on high-soled wooden shoes, and that shape was similar to what people were wearing in other parts of the world, for example, Italy. Although there would have been no contact, the basic idea was the same. The Chinese practice of foot binding was even loosely copied in Western culture. Both men and women of the past bound their feet with tape to fit them in too-tight shoes.