A Length of Katazome Dyed Cotton: Mythical Creatures

$90.00 USD

late nineteenth century
35 1/2" x 13 1/2", 90 cm x 34 cm

This length of indigo dyed katazome cotton is both beautiful for its design but also interesting for its content.

The complex pattern is based on interlocking hexagons, an allusion to tortoise shell which relates to the tortoise and is therefore conveys a wish for a long life.

Arabesques and flowers decorate the hexagons and inside each is a wonderful visual coupling: the peony and the baku.

The baku is a legendary or mythical creature and it figures into many stories and tales. What the baku is most known for is its ability to devour nightmares, a fitting super power to be depicted on cloth taken from a futon cover.

In addition to the baku there is another creature, probably the kirin, which also appears on the pattern.

The design is highlighted with a mustardy-ochre color and shows the appropriate amount of wear for its age.

An unusual image for katazome cotton, this is a lovely piece to add to your collection of Japanese folk cloth.