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Item Crane (tsuru) and Turtle (minogame) Design
Late 1800s to Early 1900s
Fabric 100% cotton, hand loomed, homespun cotton, medium-heavy weight, thick. Part of an old futon cover.

Note the lovely stippling (small dots) design in the vine.
13 inches X 2.1 feet
34 X 65 cm
Very Good Condition
No Holes, No Spots.
Slightly faded, lovely.

We have washed & ironed this textile. It is ready for use in your project.
Comment The Japanese are very fond of an old proverb, "Cranes live 1,000 years, turtles 10,000." The crane and the turtle are mystical and holy creatures which symbolize good fortune, prosperity, happiness and longevity. Cranes also represent marital love and fidelity because the birds pair for life, devout couples for all seasons. These affirmative symbols flourished in the lives of all social classes.

During weddings, the young couple’s parents sometimes presented to their married children a futon cover with these two creatures as the motif to encourage an auspicious beginning to married life.

The crane, usually shown in flight, is the most commonly reproduced symbol in Japanese culture.

The mythological giant turtle known as the minogame, or “straw raincoat-turtle” called such because of its trailing tail resembling a farmer's straw coat. The turtle is so old that it has a backwash of seaweed attached to its back.

The Three Friends of Winter, also known as "Sho Chiku Bai" in Japanese, are the pine, bamboo, and plum plants seen on this textile. These evergreen plants are closely interwoven with the spiritual and physical life of the Japanese people. Together they symboize "virtue, long life & happiness." The Japanese observed that the pine, bamboo and plum do not wither as the cold days deepen into the winter season unlike many other plants.

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