A Beautiful and Very Long Piece of Katazome Cotton: Marumon
early twentieth century
76" x 14", 193 cm x 35.5 cm
This is a wonderful and fairly long piece of indigo dyed cotton that was dyed in the katazome or stencil resist dye method.
The pattern is that of a roundels, called marumon, each of which shows an auspicious set of motifs: two roundels show variants on the famous shochikubai which is the design triad of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms, which conveys good wishes. Plum shows courage as its blossoms, the first of the year, burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life and also of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs. The third roundel shows the legendary pairing of the tortoise and crane, a wish for long life.
The length is hand woven from what appear to be hand spun cotton yarns. It is worn and faded beautifully, the fading and wear exposing the beautiful, hand made yarns and showing a soft, warm indigo color.
In used, worn, condition, this is a simply beautiful length of indigo dyed katazome cotton that is beautiful in form and in meaning.