5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1272

Wedding futon cover
Cotton (homespun)
Tsutsugaki (rice paste resist), hand painted; dyes and pigments

This very colorful bed cover is decorated with the seven treasures, an auspicious design meant to bring good fortune to the newlywed couple. Pride of place is given to the cape of invisibility, whose filaments are used as a device to unify the scattered treasures.

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - invisibility cape - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1293

The most detailed artistic work, however, has been lavished on the treasure bag at the bottom. The realism employed, particularly in the shading of the amusing chrysanthemum leaves that form the mouth of the bag, marks this as probably Meiji period.  Its state of preservation is testament to the reverence with which it was treated.  It was probably seldom used.

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - treasure bag - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1275

The scholar’s scroll:

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - scholar scroll - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1282

The lucky mallet:

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - mallet - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1286

A highly stylized clove:

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - clove - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1288

The flaming jewel, or pearl:

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - flaming jewel - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1280

The family crest:

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - aoi crest - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1300

A fiber close-up:

5 panel wedding futon w 7 treasures - fiber close up - Daily Japanese Textile IMG_1306

Like other designs, such as the phoenix and paulownia or the shishi and peony, the seven treasures theme can be found on other tsutsugaki, in strikingly similar compositions and color combinations. For example, below is a yogi from New Mexico’s Museum of International Folk Art, which is far more elaborate than the five paneled futon cover seen here. A furoshiki echoing this design, but simplified because of its smaller size, can be seen in Country Textiles of Japan: The Art of Tsutsugaki by Reiko Mochinaga Brandon.

yogi w seven treasures Museum of International Folk Art .org

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