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This fragment would have originally been part of a bedding cover (futon-ji). It depicts a lion-like creature known as a shishi or karashishi (Chinese lion) which are characterised by their fierce expression, prominent eyes and curly manes and tails. Pairs of stone shishi often guard Buddhist temples while in art they are frequently depicted, as here, gambolling among peonies. The shishi symbolises energy and valour while the peony beauty and riches so the combination was considered a very auspicious one. The design was created with a technique knows as ‘kasuri’, which involves the binding of certain sections of yarn prior to dyeing. When the skein is dipped in the dye bath the colour does not penetrate the bound areas, creating a yarn that is partly white and partly coloured. A pattern then emerges as the cloth is woven.
Panel from an ikat quilt (futon) cover of indigo cotton dyed with decoration of Chinese lion (karashishi) and peonies.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Length: 37 cm, Width: 30.8 cm, Width: 31 cm, Length: 14.375 in, Width: 12.25 in
Panel from a resist-dyed cotton quilt (futon) cover, Fukuoka, 1850-1900
Plain weave; Resist dyed
East Asia Collection