Futonji
Cotton (homespun)
Stenciled, tsutsugaki paste resist with dyes and pigments

Based on the narrow panel in the center, this was probably originally a yogi – a heavily padded sleeping cover shaped like a kimono, with sleeves – which was in time converted to a flat futon cover. The crest in the center is decorated with stenciled kanoko, not real tie-dyed shibori.

Above is an interesting flaw in the design. The right side of the large wisteria leaf is flanked by a small petal, while by the left side of the leaf is a blank space. This does not appear to be a deliberate element of the design. Did the paste resist for that side come loose, or did the stenciler neglect to apply paste resist in that spot?

In her book County Textiles of Japan, which has a similar piece, Reiko Mochinaga Brandon notes that “[t]he kanoko crest was in vogue in the nineteenth century, when many decorative variations of family crests were invented for rich merchants, courtesans, and Kabuki actors…” (p.114), and goes on to suggest that the “impressive and embellished crest” would be appropriate for a wedding celebration.

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