Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Fukusa (gift cover)

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rubbed foil decoration (<i>surihaku</i>), twisted cord and wrapped gold foil decoration on a satin weave silk ground

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Fukusa (gift cover), blue satin weave silk ground with design of three open fans in gold leaf. On one fan are three pine cones, on the second fan there is a rake, and on the third fan a besom. All these artefacts are associated with Jo and Uba the devoted old couple of Japanese legend. Each fan leaf is executed in the rubbed foil technique where gold leaf is applied over glue (surihaku).
Two of the fan leaves carry on to the reverse of the fukusa. The fan sticks are executed in black twisted cord laid down and couched to the satin. The pine cones are likewise made from brown twisted cord and they have been given a relief surface by the use of padding beneath the couching. The rake and besom are in wrapped gold foil, laid down and couched.
The fukusa is backed with red crepe, the edges of which are turned over to the front to make a border around the blue satin. Originally there was a tassel in each corner. Only one of these remains. There is a small paper sticker with an inscription on it stuck to the back of the cover's top right-hand corner.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Rubbed foil decoration (surihaku), twisted cord and wrapped gold foil decoration on a satin weave silk ground


Length: 81 cm, Width: 68 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1981/1201.

Descriptive line

Fukusa (gift cover), blue satin weave silk with surihaku fan motifs and couched pinecone decoration, Japan, Edo to Meiji period, 19th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Takemura, Akihiko. Fukusa: Japanese Gift Covers. Iwasaki Bijutsu-sha, Tokyo, 1991. Plate 19. ISBN 475341325X


Gold leaf; Silk cord; Silk (textile); Crêpe


Couching (embroidering); Satin weave

Subjects depicted

Love; Pine-cones; Brooms; Rakes; Old age; Fans (costume accessories)


Textiles; Embroidery; Myths & Legends


East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.