A Length of Cotton Egasuri: Tortoise

$85.00 USD

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.

A lovely length of cloth, to be sure.