A Length of Large Scale Katazome: Shochikubai
early twentieth century
64" x 13", 162.5 cm x 13 cm
This lightweight cotton length shows a really delightful design of over-sized plum blossoms amid a field of what appears to be references to kasuri or ikat woven forms.
The large plum blossoms each contains two more images, that of bamboo leaves that are tucked into stylized pine trees. This triad of plum, pine and bamboo is called shochikubai in Japan: plum symbolizes courage since it is the first bloom to emerge under winter ice, pine symbolizes longevity and conjugal fidelity and bamboo is a symbol of resiliency as it bends but does not break.
The technique used to make this repeat image is the stencil resist katazome method and in this case it is rustically done--as can be easily seen by looking at the accompanying detail photos here there are smudges and imperfections to the resist dyeing, a detail which adds charm and character to this length.
The length is hand stitched from two pieces, otherwise this is in good used condition.