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Item Details
Taisho period (1912-1926)
A silk furisode featuring large yuzen-painted cranes. Five mon (family crests) so very formal. 49" from sleeve-end to sleeve-end x 60" height. The main symbolic meaning of the Japanese red-crowned crane is long life. With their lifespan of some thirty years, cranes were thought to live not just decades but thousands of years, becoming virtually synonymous with immortality. At Japanese weddings it is a symbol of loyalty. Also associated with the qualities of honour and wisdom, cranes were believed to be intermediaries between heaven and earth, a messenger of the gods to humans, thus symbolizing the spiritual ability to enter a higher state of consciousness. Furthermore, the crane also represents a lasting soaring spirit, health, and happiness. Their white bodies stand for purity and their red heads denote vitality. This kimono would have been likely worn by either the bride prior to the main wedding ceremony, or by an unmarried sister to the bride at the main ceremony. The artistry on this furisode is exceptional: the cranes, all in flight, are scattered against a finely shaded multi-color background to stunning effect.
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