A Hand Painted Tsutsugaki Cotton Furoshiki: Crane and Tortoise
early twentieth century
66" x 59", 167.5 cm x 150 cm
This beautifully distressed folk textile is very unusual: it is a large, hand resisted and hand painted furoshiki, a traditional Japanese carrying cloth.
What makes it unusual is the fact that the furoshiki is hand resisted with two large auspicious symbols--a crane and a tortoise--and that these two figures are on a white ground. Very often furoshiki are dyed a darker color since they will be used hard and will not want to show dirt.
This one shows a great deal of surface staining, abrasion, mending and distortion, all shown on the accompanying detail photos. Because this cloth was used to haul and store a bundle of items, its center portion has become permanently distorted from this wear and the furoshiki does not lay flat because of this.
The combination of crane and tortoise, called tsurukame, is both common and auspicious in Japan--both are symbols wishing a long life. These particular ones are beautifully rendered in a combination of hand resist or tsutsugaki method along with hand painting, which can easily be seen on the accompanying detail photos.
Note the sashiko stitched upper right-hand corner.
A stunning, eye-catching folk textile.