Fukusa, gift cover

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made in Japan

Postcard of Fukusa, gift cover.
© National Museums Scotland

Fukusa, gift cover

A fukusa is an oblong or square piece of material, often lined with tassels at the corners. It is used to cover gifts placed on a lacquer tray, patterned face down. It was not kept but returned with a small thank you present on the tray.

This fukusa of embroidered satin shows Shiba Onka releasing his friend who had fallen into a large jar filled with water by breaking the jar. The fukusa would have been used for children's celebrations.

The scene recalls the proverb, Genius displays itself even in childhood, and refers to an incident in the childhood of the Chinese statesman of the Song Dynasty 1018-86, Sima Guang known in Japan as Shiba Onka.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-661-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1927.167
Date: 19th century
Material: Blue satin embroidered in coloured silks and gold thread
Dimensions: 35.00" x 27.50"
What: Fukusa / cover
Subject: Textiles
Who: Shiba Onko
Where: Japan
Description: Blue satin fukusa or covering embroidered with coloured silks and gold thread and showing an episode from the boyhood of Shiba Onko: Japanese, 19th century
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