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Item Dragon Matsuri Indigo Tustsugaki Cotton Jacket
This garment was worn by a high official or important person connected to the matsuri.
The jacket shows a dragon ascending into heaven and may be the Fuku-ryu, the lucky dragon.
Early 1900s
From Kyoto area.
Fabric 100% Cotton, Indigo Katazome Pattern. Natural vegetable dyes.
Soft, Hand Spun and Hand Loomed Fabric
The exquisite dragon image has been hand embroidered (shishu) using paper yarn wrapped in gold foil. Much of the gold foil remains but some has fallen off.
Top of collar to bottom edge:
35 inches, 88 cm
Sleeve edge to edge, across shoulders:
49 inches, 125 cm
1.2 lbs, 550 g
Very Good condition.
Some minor repairs as seen in last 2 rows of photos.
We reattached some loose embroidered yarn restoring it to close to original condition.
The dragon is one of the twelve animal zodiac signs in Japan. People born in the year of the dragon are said to possess the most unique characteristics as compared to the other 11 signs of the Zodiac. They are healthy, honest, sensitive, brave, energetic, excitable, yet short-tempered, and stubborn.

Dragons are first mentioned in the Kojiki, a 680 AD, a historical reference to Japanese mythology that also contains an early chronology of the Imperial family line. Since the dragon is most powerful of all beasts, the Japanese emperors are said to be descendants of dragons, and thus the dragon became a symbol of imperial power.

Shintoism, the Japanese native religion, is mentioned throughout the Kojiki narrative with the religion depicting dragons as helpful agricultural and fishing deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water. Many Japanese legends about famous dragon deities speak of them inhabiting ponds, lakes, and rivers near shrines and temples.

Of the celestial Four Directions and Four Seasons, the Dragon represents the East and Spring.

The wingless and serpentine Japanese dragon is distinctive for possessing three claws on each foot (Chinese dragon has five, Korean has four). Japanese dragons are crossovers from religious myths originating in China, Korea, and India.

Modern Japanese has several words for dragon, including indigenous "tatsu", Sino-Japanese "ryu" and the Sanskrit "naga", The Ryujin Shinko Shinto sect worships dragons.

For a longer excellent discussion about Japanese dragons, see this link:


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