Paper, persimmon tannin, thread

The images on this stencil have various meanings. Often the mimasu, or triple nesting boxes, conjure up the family crest of Ichikawa Danjuro, one of the most famous names in Kabuki, whose name has been handed down to his successors for generations. The ebi no maru, or prawn in a circle, is a very popular design as well as a family crest.

The purse and inro are often associated with wealth. For some more information on the chambered inro, see the Wikipedia entry here.

The hat is shaped like a monk’s hat (takuhatsugasa), but is more likely the hat of invisibility, one of the seven treasures. The cross in the circle is a horse’s bit, and was also used as the family crest of the powerful Shimazu family. The scattered plant motifs are pines.

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