A double sided Meiji period (1868-1912) fukusa (hand-embroidered silk and couched gold-wrapped thread on indigo dyed shusa satin silk) depicting the Chinese Ming Dynasty mythology-"Journey to the West" based on the historical Buddhist monk Xuanzang in his mission to seek the "Three Collections of (Buddhist) Scriptures". The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Like these other Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.
The choice of a fukusa appropriate to the occasion was an important part of the gift-giving ritual. The richness of the decoration was an indication of the donor’s wealth, and the quality of the design evidence of his or her taste and sensibility. This satin fukusa is embroidered in silk and metallic threads. The fukusa is backed and bordered with red silk crepe (chirimen) dyed with safflower (beni). The fukusa is sewn in the yatsuzuma style.
Size: 26 inches x 25 inches (64 cm x 63 cm). Opt for a wall display that is dramatic and easy.
Condition: Excellent vintage for age. Item is authentic; sold as found, no cleaning or repairs. Some loose threads (see photos), inherent with old silk and hand-embroidery are visible, so for that reason the price was reduced accordingly. Please see all photos attached. Shipment will be insured by the seller.
Provenance: Japan, Kyushu Island.
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