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11.Juji Karakusa(Cross and Arabesque)


This cross and arabesque pattern is said to have been created by Kojima Naka, the founder of the Ako Dantsu. It is a pattern unique to Ako that has been continued from the earliest days. The double medallions can also be seen on the rug of the old Shosoin court. It is a powerful design with thick arabesques surrounding the cross.

The dragon pattern on the border is often seen in relatively old Ako Dantsu of Meiji era. Since the word "dragon" was used , I was under the impression that the design was derived from the Chinese Carpets, however, I have never seen anything similar in Chinese textiles. The shape seems to be similar to that of ancient Chinese bronze vessels, with the "Ki-ryu" pattern. Kojima Naka's family business was an antique dealer, so she was able to sell not only rugs from abroad but also she may have devised the design based on various art objects.

This rug is  relatively old, with thicker threads and a rough texture.

"Juji Karakusa"

Ako Dantsu / First quarter 20th. /  Ako city, Hyogo, Japan / cotton, indigo and natural dye

Size: 93.5 cm x 190 cm

Price: 150,000 yen + tax

What is the dragon in this one? I've always wondered why. The fact that it's called a "Ki-ryu" means not a dragon, but a lizard.

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