Fukusa textiles and gifts exchange in Japan

Fukusa textiles and gifts exchange in Japan, lecture by Manuela Moscatiello, head of Japanese collections at the Cernuschi Museum.

The word fukusa describes a soft silk square, soft and light as a feather. This term encompasses several categories of textiles classified according to their different functions. The kakebukusa represents the type of fukusa the most luxurious. Made of satin (shusu) or damask satin (rinzu, Donsu), with a lining most often made of silk crepe (chirimen), it was used to accompany a gift during special celebrations. Once the donation reached the recipient and the message it contained communicated, this square of fabric was returned to the sender. It is through their decorations, appeared at the time of Edo (1603-1867) that the kakebukusa transmitted a message allowing an exchange of emotion.


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