Katagami patterns are generally quite meaningful, evoking desirable personal qualities or referring to well-known stories. The crane-and-turtle motif that appears on this textile would have been recognized by Japanese viewers as a reference to a popular folktale the Legend of Urashima Taro. In the story, a fisherman who rescues a turtle is rewarded with long life and transformed into a crane. Here, the intertwined animals are paired with roundels formed of pine branches and bamboo shoots, creating a pattern symbolic of longevity and resilience.
This object was donated by Elinor Merrell.
Cite this object as
Textile (Japan); cotton; 1973-29-20