A Length of Cotton Egasuri: Tortoise
ca. early to mid twentieth century
52" x 12 1/2", 132 cm x 31.5 cm
This length of kasuri, or ikat, dyed cotton shows a familiar image in the world of Japanese traditional motives: the tortoise.
As is fairly well-known, the tortoise is known to
be symbols of longevity. Thus, it appears on celebratory textiles to
convey auspiciousness and goodwill--and, of course, a long life.
This length of hand woven cotton is a panel from a futon cover. Most
likely, since the woven image is auspicious, the futon cover from
which this piece was taken was presented to a couple at their wedding.
This beautiful and rustic piece of kasuri shows some patina from wear, and is presented in the unusual combination of a kind of olive drab/grey color and a darker blue/black color. We are not sure if the grey is the result of sumizome or charcoal based dyeing, however, this is a possibility.
Note the lovely folk rendering of the image of the tortoise which is vibrant and animated. And also, woven in kanji, is nansen, or 10,000 years--a reference to the tortoise's legendary long life.