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Fukusa Covers: Representing Celebratory Spirit

Fukusa Covers: Representing Celebratory Spirit / Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 14   December 20, 2016 (Tue) - February 19, 2017 (Sun)

  
Fukusa (Gift cover), Cherry blossom and peacock design on green satin ground (detail), Edo period, 19th century

Fukusa were used to cover gifts presented at celebrations. Traditional Japanese designs were chosen for each occasion, such as New Year’s greetings, seasonal celebrations, greetings exchanged in summer and at the end of the year, weddings, or celebrations for long life. It was from the early to mid- Edo period, in the 17th to the early 18th century, that fukusa came to be ornately decorated. As unique Japanese embroidery techniques developed, auspicious motifs befitting each event began to be embroidered on the fukusa covers. Eventually, from the late 18th century in the late Edo period, the custom of fukusa covers spread to prosperous townspeople. Unlike the stylized patterns used by the higher warrior class, the townspeople chose motifs from popular fables, or patternized motifs from everyday life, for their liberal designs. By this time, fukusa were not only rendered with embroidery but also with techniques suitable for pictorial renderings, including yuzen paste-resist dyeing, as well as tapestry weaving. The designs convey the festive spirits of people in the Edo period.

To celebrate the New Year, fukusa from the Edo period in the museum collection are introduced through four themes in this exhibition: “Stories and fables,” “Good-luck motifs,” “Warrior-class motifs,” and “Deities and festivities.” These motifs will introduce you to the visual expression arising from the celebratory spirit of the people from this time.

 

 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Fukusa (Gift cover), Shojo immortal figure design, Edo period, 18th-19th century (Gift of Mrs. Henry)
Fukusa (Gift cover), Sea bream design on dark blue satin ground, Edo period, 18th-19th century (Gift of Mrs. Henry)
Fukusa (Gift cover), Cherry blossom and peacock design on green satin ground, Edo period, 19th century
Fukusa (Gift Cover), Design of a Hotei (one of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune) and Chinese children on light red seigo weave silk, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr.Hosoya Hiroyoshi)


 

Pamphlet

Fukusa Covers: Representing Celebratory Spirit
Fukusa Covers: Representing Celebratory Spirit
(In Japanese)

The pamphlet is available at the Information desk, Honkan 1st  floor during the thematic exhibition periods

PDFPDF, 1.59MB)