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Item Exceptional Tsutsugaki Indigo Cotton Marital Celebratory Futon Cover
Kara-Shishi Lions, shrine & temple guardians possessing magical powers to repel evil.

The young, just married couple's parents presented the newlyweds with this futon cover wedding present.
Late 1800s to Early 1900s
Fabric 100% Cotton
4.2 X 5.3 feet
128 X 160 cm
Medium-Heavy Weight, Strong, Thick, Soft Fabric,
1.0 lbs, 440 g
Very Good Condition
2 very, very small hand mended repairs, hardly noticeable as seen in photos.

Muted Colors and not as vivid as the 1st photo of complete textile. The remaining photos show close to true faded colors.

Indigo cotton wonderfully faded.

Image registration is very precise, all but perfect.
Comments Dramatic composition of this tsutsugaki consists of 2 Buddhist shishi (dog-lions) frolicking among botan (peony flowers) with a river and mountains background. The shishi in the form of open and closed mouth lions. Open mouth shishi are said to scare off evil spirits while closed mouth shishi hold in the good spirts. Note the whirligig symbols on the lions. The whirligig design is the Buddhist symbol of Dharma, universal harmony and the balance of opposites (open and closed mouth lions).

Read about shishi at this extensive discussion of the dog-lion

Like the Chinese, the Japanese considered the peony to be ‘king of the flowers’ and therefore use it as a popular motif in textile design, regardless of season. The Chinese introduced the tree peony into Japan in the Nara period (710 - 794) . For the Chinese, the peony flower represented good fortune, high honour, and the season of spring.┬áThe flower gained prominence in Japanese scrolling patterns, especially those used in brocades.

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