Furoshiki, Japanese Wrapping Cloth
Have you ever heard of a term Furoshiki (風呂敷)? Well, it’s Japanese wrapping cloths. Once I had a one dyed with extract from Ukon (うこん, Turmeric), which was very versatile and convenient to wrap my Kimono, lacquer wares, and hanging scrolls. In addition, it had a good pest-exterminating effect because of the feature of turmeric.
I believe people nowadays regard Ukon only as one ingredient of curry sauce, rather than a pigment for dyeing. However, whenever I see the beautiful vivid yellow color of turmeric, it reminds me of the way my mother treasured our Kimono.
In fact, my mother and grand mother used Furoshiki a lot. They said it was more convenient than using paper bags, because of its flexibility to enfold things in any shape. In addition, it can be folded into a very small shape.
Today, people set handles to Furoshiki so as to use it as a bag, or put it in frames and hang it on the wall as an interior decoration. There are so many pretty Furoshiki available nowadays and it’s really fun just to look for the favorite one.
In the old times, Karakusa (唐草) patterned Furoshiki was a must item at any home, because the pattern was considered as a symbol of good luck. Funny thing is that it has turned to be a symbol of thieves today, since thief characters carrying their swag in it often appeared on TV dramas or cartoons.
Anyways, Furoshiki is indispensable for those who practice tea ceremony. When entering Chashitu (茶室, tea ceremony room), coats or scarves must be taken off, and Furoshiki is the best item to wrap and bring them into the room.
Furoshiki has a deep connection with Kimono.
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