A 19th Century Indigo Dyed Tsutsugaki Furoshiki: Heavy Hand Spun Cotton

$495.00 USD

late nineteenth century
62 1/2" x 50 1/2", 159 cm x 128 cm

This is a fairly large, tsutsugaki dyed cotton furoshiki that is hand stitched from heavy, hand spun, hand woven cotton. 

A furoshiki is a traditional square of cloth of almost any dimension that is used in Japan for the wrapping, storing and hauling of possessions and often they are decorated as this one is.

The cloth shows a centrally-placed family crest of a stylize Chinese bellflower surrounded by ornate and decorative trailing vine or arabesque which gives the furoshiki a wholly traditional look as this is one of the many standard forms of decorating a tsutsugaki dyed furoshiki.

The kanji or Chinese characters on the lower, left hand corner of the cloth give clues to who may have--or may not have--once owned the furoshiki.

Apparently this cloth claims to be from Kurokawa-mura in Yamagata prefecture. One of the readings of the name which is noted on the cloth is that of Takoi Magoemon.

A quick look into this name reveals that this person possibly was an esteemed hand drum player either for puppet theater or for Noh theater, but this is only speculation based on scant, available information. Still, it creates a window into what might have been and this kind of musing is cause for intrigue.

The cloth is in very good, almost-unused condition. The cotton is heavy and is not scuffed or broken, the indigo dye is deeply toned and even in color.

A beauty.