A Tattered Complex Katazome Fragment: Crane, Tortoise, Shochikubai
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
33" x 12 3/4", 84 cm x 32.5 cm
This is a scrappy piece of katazome dyed cotton that shows a very complex and intricate design of highly auspicious symbols.
The turtle and crane are depicted here: both are symbols of long life, and the crane is a wish for conjugal fidelity since it mates for life. In the background can be seen shochikubai, or the triad of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms, which is a cocktail of auspiciousness. Plum shows courage as its blossoms burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life--and of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs.
This piece is missing one of its selvedge edges and there is tear to the proper left side.
The resisted images hold a kind of coral cast as they were probably originally dyed in benibana or safflower, which has faded over the years.