A relatively large mid-Edo silk fukusa featuring rare motifs of an illusion of palaces in the bubbles of a clam's breath. Extremely fine and detailed metallic couching was utilized to create the complex palace scene, and simple silk embroidery to create the frothing sea. A blue satin silk background. Although there is fading and silk splits along the beni-red liner edging and back, the main of the artwork is in surprisingly good condition considering the age and immense amount of fine couching work, none of which has been detached which is often the case. 33" height x 26" width. Back to the rare imagery involving the illusion of the palaces: in Buddhist teaching, we may dream or even live in palaces or other great places, but all these material things are impermanent and illusory. The idea that perceiving impermanence is the key to happiness doesn't make much sense. It's not something that can be understood by intellect alone. Buddhism teaches that when it's perceived that the causes of hate and greed are illusions, hate and greed -- and the misery they cause -- disappear. We have not seen this imagery in any other Japanese textiles in museum or private hands. There exists in the British Museum, however, an ivory netsuke created by the Japanese artist Kagetoshi with the same theme.