silk uchishiki, Japan, Taisho (1912-1926), cm 198x33. This is an ‘uchishiki’ – or, better, a ‘mizuhiki’ - a rectangular cloth of rich brocade, used to cover the front and sides of altars in Buddhist temples. The origin of the Mizuhiki and Uchishiki can be traced back to the lifetime of Shakyamuni Buddha. During the Buddha's time a custom was established of spreading out fine pieces of cloth for the Buddha to sit on when preaching to his disciples and others assembled to hear him. The cloth would be spread out and the disciples would bow in reverence to the Buddha with their foreheads touching the cloth at his feet. The cloth later came to decorate the altar tables of temples on special occasions of hearing the Buddha's teaching. This actual cloth is made of red ‘kinran’ silk, with a cotton lining, where two confronting dragons form six embroidered roundels in alternating white and yellow amid an array of golden threads defining and outlining the surrounding clouds. Condition is rather good, with just some ‘age’ staining in the cotton lining, and a few golden threads coming loose from fraying. Despite little condition issues, a lovely textile of great visual and spiritual impact.
price:  SOLD