Yellow-ground wrapping cloth (uchikui) with pattern of irises in a flowing stream, late 19th century

Not on Viewexpand_more

This wrapping cloth, or uchikui, is made up of two symmetrical panels of heavy-grade, plain-weave ramie. The panels are not identical because an artist created the design by hand using the paste-resist dyeing technique called tsutsugaki: motifs were made by squeezing sticky paste out of a tube, like icing a cake. Until 1879, government sumptuary laws regulated the use of colors and yellow ground, reserving them for the royal family; hence this piece likely postdates that year. The small size of this uchikui suggests it would have been used for gift presentation, and the use of a bright color indicates a festive occasion, like a wedding. Irises in a flowing stream is a motif borrowed from mainland Japan.

Yellow-ground wrapping cloth (uchikui) with pattern of irises in a flowing stream
40 x 40 in.
Accession Number
Okamura Kichiemon, Jack Lenor Larsen
Catalogue Raisonne
Murray et al. 2018, pl. 157
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.