A rare and unusual silk 'Taremaku' (curtain), featuring 3-D gold-metallic-thread embroidery on a red chirimen red ground. Off-white cotton back lining. Very good condition, with a few tiny holes in the red background. 56" x 51". What was this curtain created and utilized for? It was perhaps originally created to adorn a Buddhist or Shinto ceremony or temple. "In Japan, the color red is associated closely with a few deities in Shinto and Buddhist traditions, and statues of these deities are often decked in red clothing or painted red. There are many clues that underpin the red association. The most compelling clues involve demon quelling and disease (e.g., smallpox, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, measles). According to Japanese folk belief, red is the color for "expelling demons and illness." The red background is dyed with benibana. The benibana dye from the safflower petals was very hard to extract, therefore causing it to be very expensive, and was desired by many Japanese. . The dye, beni-red, could only be worn by the samurai class and above, in addition to it's utilization on religious textiles. The embroidered patternwork (see detail image links below the main gallery image) consists mainly of the color gold. Gold color, or 'kin' is associated with royalty, and it also represents the color of the heavens, and is used to decorate statues of the Buddha and religious temples.