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Chinese Textiles: Prized Textile Fragments of the Maeda Clan in Kaga

"Chinese Textiles: Prized Textile Fragments of the Maeda Clan in Kaga"

Toyokan Room 5  April 11, 2017 (Tue) - July 2, 2017 (Sun)

  
Damask, Known as "Enshu donsu"; flagstone design on light blue ground (detail), Formerly preserved by the Maeda family, Ming dynasty, 16th–17th century

The Tokyo National Museum has a collection of about 80 textile fragments that were formerly owned by the prosperous Maeda clan, feudal lords of Kaga domain (now Ishikawa prefecture). These fragments were in fact luxury textiles imported to Japan from China. They were used by Japanese practitioners of the tea ceremony to make pouches for tea caddies (containers for holding powdered green tea) and to decorate the mountings of scrolls that were hung up in tea rooms. They were also highly prized by these practitioners because the techniques with which they were woven could not be replicated in Japan. The Maeda clan spent vast sums of its wealth accumulating these fragments, which are now on display so that visitors may experience the essence of Chinese textiles that were so highly prized in Japan.

Current exhibit includes:
Gold Brocade, Known as "Kohfukuji kinran"; phoenix design on purple ground, Formerly preserved by the Maeda clan, Yuan dynasty, 14th century
Gold Brocade, Known as "Daito kinran"; lingzhi mushroom design on reddish orange ground,
Formerly preserved by the Maeda clan, Yuan dynasty, 14th century
Gauze with Gold Thread, Large peony arabesque design on pale red ground,
Formerly owned by the Maeda Clan, Ming dynasty, 16th–17th century
Damask, Known as "Sasazuru donsu"; floral arabesque design on light green ground,
Formerly preserved by the Maeda clan, Ming dynasty, 15th–16th century
Damask, Known as "Enshu donsu"; flagstone design on light blue ground,
Formerly preserved by the Maeda family, Ming dynasty, 16th–17th century
Damask, Known as "banreki damask"; blossoming branch and bird design,
Ming dynasty, 16th–17th century
Kanto Striped Textile, Known as "Mochizuki kanto"; stripe design on red ground,
Formerly preserved by the Maeda clan, Ming dynasty, 15th–16th century
Kanto Striped Textile, Known as "Hino kanto"; wavy stripe design,
Formerly preserved by the Maeda clan, Ming dynasty, 16th–17th century