A Length of Katazome Dyed Cotton: Many Auspicious Symbols as Roundels

$40.00 USD

early twentieth century
30 1/2" x 13 1/4", 77.45 cm x 33.65 cm

This fairly short length of katazome dyed cotton shows a repeat pattern of roundels. All the roundels are loaded with auspicious meaning and there are four different types.

There is a crane, there is a tortoise, there is one showing pine and plum and there is one showing pine and bamboo.

Both the crane and the tortoise are symbols of long life. The combined triad of plum, pine and bamboo is highly meaningful and is called shochikubai. 

Shochikubai is a classic, auspicious motif and it is often used for cloth to be included in a bridal trousseau.  The plum is the first bloom to burst forth from the winter's ice and is symbol of strength, the bamboo bends but does not break so it is a symbol of resilience, and the pine, of course conveys a wish for longevity.  Also, pine needles fall in pairs, and thus they are a motif often used at weddings.

The length is scuffed and shows some surface abrasion but this is to be expected for such an old length of cloth that was part of a futon cover a century ago.