A Length of Kurume Kasuri: Crane and Tortoise
reduced from $85.00
ca. early to mid twentieth century
52" x 12", 132 cm x 30 cm
This length of kasuri, or ikat, dyed cotton shows familiar images in the world of Japanese traditional motives: the crane and the tortoise.
As is fairly well-known, both the crane and the tortoise are known to be symbols of longevity. Thus, they appear 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 images are auspicious, the futon cover from which this piece was taken was presented to a couple at their wedding. In addition to wishing for a long life, the crane is a symbol of marital fidelity as it mates for life.
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 images of the crane and tortoise: each is vibrant and quite animated. And also, woven in kanji, is sennen, or 1,000 years--a reference to crane's living 1,000 years, again, a wish for long life.
A lovely length of cloth, to be sure.