An Early 19th Century Tatoushi: Recycled Paper Kimono Wrapper
ca. early to mid nineteenth century
open: 43" x 33 1/2", 109 cm x 85 cm
This beautiful, paper object is created from layers of repurporsed paper that have been laminated together, doused in kaki shibu or the green persimmon tannin, and scribbled upon using sumi or charcoal based ink.
This tatoushi or kimono wrapping paper dates to the first half of the 19th century and was said to have been used to wrap a kimono or some other cloth thing at a pawn shop at the end of the Edo period. That said, it is easy to see how a rather flat shaped, square item could be set in the center of the paper and the four flaps would be folded over it to secure it in place.
The paper itself is rich and beautiful from repurposing and wear, and the scribbled markings on the surface are random and sometimes meaningless: often they seem to be the result of someone wanting to blot the tip of an ink brush of excess ink.
The small rows of writing that can be seen through the layers of the paper are probably recycled ledger pages which were used to make this laminated wrapping paper.
A marvelous object, one with great age and history, and something wonderful to admire as an item from old Japan or on its own merits as art.