Myriad treasures design tsutsugaki bedding

UnknownModern (first half of 20th century)

Suntory Museum of Art

Suntory Museum of Art

Tsutsugaki, literally tube drawing, is a fabric dyeing technique in which rice paste glue is put in a paper tube, and it is squeezed out of the cut end to draw designs on a piece of fabric. The fabric is then dyed and the area covered by the glue remains white and undyed. There are some vividly lovely works made up of colors against a white ground, but the true fascination of tsutsugaki work is the vibrantly dynamic dance of the drawn lines against the cloth. When the myriad treasures design is used on bedding, it often centers on large images of the kakuremino and kakuregasa, concealing raincoat and concealing hat, motifs which are meant to conceal the shape of a person. These motifs are thought to have a protective meaning, as they conceal and hence protect the person sleeping under them. On this work the miscanthus reed lines that indicate a kakuremino raincoat forms the center of the design, surrounded by the shippo interlocking circles, clove flower, tachibana tree, tsutsumori tubes for sutras, and horn cup. The lower section of the composition shows a carp, with fishing basket and rod, and a mallet of good fortune. These symbols refer to Ebisu and Daikokuten, two of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, without showing the gods themselves, and thus are called “absent designs.” It is said that if you shake the mallet, that which you desire will come to you. Thus the mallet is an auspicious symbol that directly expresses people’s feelings and desires.

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  • Title: Myriad treasures design tsutsugaki bedding
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Modern (first half of 20th century)
  • Location Created: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: w1615 x h1950 cm
  • Object Title (Japanese): 宝尽文筒描蒲団地
  • Object Date (English): Modern (first half of 20th century)
  • Category (Japanese): 染織
  • Artist Name (Japanese): 不明
  • Type: Textiles
  • Rights: Suntory Museum of Art, Suntory Museum of Art