A Length of Brown Toned Katazome: Tortoises and Cranes

$80.00 USD

early twentieth century
26 1/4" x 12 1/2", 66.5 cm x 31.5 cm

This is a length of katazome dyed cloth that has been dyed in a brown tone. The subject of the design is an auspicious one as it shows cranes and tortoises drawn as roundels. 

The essence of the meaning of the crane and tortoise is that of longevity: the crane was said to live for 1,000 years and the tortoise for 10,000 years so often these two images are shown together as they are here.

The roundels are set against a background of what appear to be a variant on the traditional noshi design: noshi is dried abalone that is stretched into long, ribbon like strips.  The word noshi is a homonym for the word “prolong,” so it became customary to include noshi with a gift as a symbol of longevity and prolonged happiness. 

The cloth is charming in its depiction of these symbols which act as a conveyance of good fortune to those who own and use this cloth.