Wedding futonji (bedding)
Rice paste resist, dyes, pigments, hand painting

This colorful bedding would have been part of a bride’s trousseau. According to legend, the sighting of a phoenix (shown here about to alight in a pawlownia tree, amidst crashing waves) was a harbinger of an auspicious event.  This made it a perfect wedding motif, and one that was repeated on countless bedcovers with myriad design variations. The complete bed would have had a cotton backing (less decorated or not decorated), with a thick layer of cotton batting inside. The batting and backing are gone, but the expensive painted upper has been carefully preserved.