Sunday, March 4, 2007

Music Book and Bachi

Music Book and Bachi
Taisho Period
c. 1912-1926
Kimono Stencil

Music Book and Bachi Detail
No Silk Reinforcement

With the help of Nancy at Kyoto Kimono and her friend Junko in Japan, we know a little about the "story" of this stencil as well as the lettering on the "Music Book"...It reads down from the top, and each symbol has a vowel-consonant combination sound:

Tsuru means crane and kame means turtle, which are two very strong symbols in Japanese lore and customs for long life and happiness. And the triangular image in front of the lower book is indeed a shamisen pick (called a bachi), so she felt that the books were musical books on how to play. The image that is divided between the top and bottom of the stencil seems to be a wooden music stand (which goes on the floor in front of the player, too).
Thanks Nancy!

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