A hand-drawn rice paste resist pattern on indigo-dyed hand-spun, hand-woven cotton. Very good condition with several tiny holes and stains. 51" x 63". The central design is a mulberry motif. In ancient Japan, the leaf of the mulberry was used to make receptacles for offerings of food at Shinto Shrines, and clothing made from mulberry bark was also placed before the gods. It was the religious associations of the mulberry which lay behind its widespread adoption as a family emblem. Several shrines, including the Sumo Shrine in Nara, used it as their official emblem, and devout parishioners followed suit.