A Blue-on-White Katazome Length: Tortoishell and Chrysanthemum
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
57 1/2" x 12 3/4", 146 cm x 32.5 cm
This is a type of katazome dyed cotton referred to as jishiro, that is, blue-on-white. Jishiro katazome is a bit more collectible than its white-on-blue counterpart simply because it takes a bit more time and skill to dye.
This pattern is wonderful: it is a repeat pattern of hexagons inside of which are stylized chrysanthemums. The hexagon pattern is a depiction of tortoiseshell, which is an auspicious design that imparts a wish for long life.
The cloth is faded from decades of use and it shows a group of faint stains which are illustrated here on the accompanying detail photographs: when viewing the length overall the stains are hardly noticeable, if at all, but upon closer examination of the surface of the cloth they are evident.
Still, this is a handsome piece of jishiro katazome showing a wonderful pattern that is both graphic and meaningful.