A Beautifully Drawn and Elegant Tsutsugaki Furoshiki: Shochikubai

$245.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
30" x 25 3/4", 76 cm x 65.5 cm

This is a small, indigo dyed cotton furoshiki or traditional wrapping cloth. It has been dyed in the tsutsugaki or freehand paste resist technique and the delicacy and refinement of the drawing on this piece is particularly skilled.

The image shown is that of a sprig of pine, a branch of plum blossoms and a slip of bamboo.

This combination of natural elements is referred to as shochikubai.

Shochikubai, 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 rendering of the shochikubai motif as seen on this furoshiki is exceedingly good and was clearly done by a tsutsugaki artisan of great experience who has mastered this technique. The elegantly drawn, resisted lines are clear and strong and the clarity of the images showcases the advanced skill of the artist who made them.

Note what appears to be a family crest of arrow feathers in the lower, left hand corner.

In very lightly used condition, this tsutsugaki dyed furoshiki is a small gem.