Paper, silk thread, persimmon tannin
Hand carved

Given the motif of sake cups decorated with pairs of cranes, this must be a celebratory design. The fine network of silk threads is sandwiched between two layers of the stencil, and helps reinforce it.

Often when animals are depicted in pairs, the male will have its mouth open (“ah”), while the female will be depicted with its mouth closed (“un”). This is also true in this stencil. Note how finely cut the stencil must be in order to show the tiny open beak of the crane.