Yorke Antique Textiles

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Item Details
Late Meiji to Mid-Taisho (1890-1920)
A large embroidered fukusa. Very good condition with one missing corner tassle. 26" x 28". The Takasago Legend: this legend is one of the oldest in Japanese mythology. An old couple - his name is Joo and hers is Uba - known together as Jotomba - are said to appear from the mist at Lake Takasago. The old man and his wife are usually portrayed talking happily together with a pine tree in the background. Signifying, as they do, a couple living in perfect harmony until they grow old together, they have long been a symbol of the happiness of family life. The story is portrayed in a famous Noh play "Takasago no Uta": at Takasago Shrine there is a very old pine tree, the trunk of which is bifurcated ; in it dwells the spirit of the Maiden of Takasago who was seen once by the son of Izanagi who fell in love and wedded her. Both lived to a very great age, dying at the same hour on the same day, and since then their spirits abide in the tree, but on moonlight nights they return to human shape to revisit the scene of their earthly felicity and pursue their work of gathering pine needles. His pine tree is also called "The Pine of Sumi-no-e" and hers is the Takasago pine. The old woman is using a broom to sweep away trouble and he carries a rake to rake in good fortune. In Japanese this is also a play of words with "One Hundred Years" (haku > sweeping the floor) and "until 99 years" (kujuku made > kumade, meaning a rake).
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