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"Noh Mask" Antique Fukusa

"Noh Mask" Antique Fukusa

Fine Embroidery

Regular price $119.00
Regular price $149.00 Sale price $119.00
Sale Sold out
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  • Ships from NY
  • One-of-a-kind
  • Sourced from Japan
This listing is for a vintage - possibly antique - fukusa gift cover. See explanation below for how fukusa are used and a bit about their history.

This fukusa features a noh play scene, with a Okino character mask (symbolizing wisdom) resting by a theatrical folding fan. The mask is framed by two overlapping squares - one depicting a crane in flight over pine and the other a shoji screen background that would be seen on the stage.

The scene is delicately woven with soft colors in the background but with brighter colors focusing the viewer's eye on the red lips of the mask, the bright blue of the fan, and the green of the pine.

Along the top border is a light orange color detail. No tassles at the corners, as is sometimes the case even with older fukusa. The backside is a solid orange-red silk.

From Wikipedia:
Fukusa are a type of Japanese textile used for gift-wrapping....Fukusa are square or almost square pieces of lined fabric ranging in size from about 9–36 inches (230–910 mm) along one side. They are typically made of fine silk, and may be decorated with embroidery in auspicious designs.

The use of fukusa as a way of presenting gifts has mostly died out, lingering instead mainly in certain ritual exchanges of gifts during weddings in a few regions of Japan.

Traditionally in Japan, gifts were placed in boxes or on a wooden or lacquered tray, over which a fukusa would be draped. The choice of a fukusa appropriate to the occasion was considered an important part of the gift itself, and part of its formality. The practice of covering a gift became widespread during the Edo period (1603-1867).

The scene or motifs depicted on fukusa are chosen to indicate either the occasion for which the gift is being given, or because they are appropriate for one of the annual festivals when gifts are exchanged. The richness of the decoration of the fukusa attests to the giver's wealth and aesthetics.

Once a gift was exchanged, after being admired, the fukusa and box or tray presented with the gift are typically returned to the gift's original giver. However, before the Meiji Restoration, when gifts were presented to a high official, the fukusa was not always returned.

Length: 28"
Width: 25"
Made In (Estimated): 1960s
Condition: Excellent
Fiber: Silk
Technique: Painted
Colors: Cream, Multi
Motifs: Mythology, Noh Theater, Mask


Low stock: 1 left

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