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1973

  • We acquired this object.

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Textile (Japan)

This is a Textile. It is dated 19th century and we acquired it in 1973. Its medium is cotton and its technique is plain weave, indigo dyed, resist applied with stencil (katazome). It is a part of the Textiles department.


Katagami patterns are generally quite meaningful, evoking desirable personal qualities or referring to well-known stories. The crane-and-turtle motif that appears on this textile would have been recognized by Japanese viewers as a reference to a popular folktale the Legend of Urashima Taro. In the story, a fisherman who rescues a turtle is rewarded with long life and transformed into a crane. Here, the intertwined animals are paired with roundels formed of pine branches and bamboo shoots, creating a pattern symbolic of longevity and resilience.

This object was donated by Elinor Merrell. It is credited Gift of Elinor Merrell.

  • Stencil, Ferns and Swirls
  • mulberry paper (kozo washi) treated with fermented persimmon tannin....
  • Gift of Helen Snyder.
  • 1976-103-61

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 174.6 × 33 cm (5 ft. 8 3/4 in. × 13 in.) Repeat H: 15.9 cm (6 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile (Japan); cotton; H x W x D: 174.6 × 33 cm (5 ft. 8 3/4 in. × 13 in.) Repeat H: 15.9 cm (6 1/4 in.); Gift of Elinor Merrell; 1973-29-20

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Katagami.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18480397/ |title=Textile (Japan) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>