Sarasa Tea Ceremony Trade Cloth

India, for the Japanese Market

Cotton, gold gilt; painted mordant

and resist dyed

17th/18th Century

10x8 in/25.5x20 cm

Sarasa is the Japanese word for “printed cloth.” Textiles from India were extremely valuable, brought to Japan through the galleon trade, first by the Portuguese and later the Dutch VOC (Dutch East Indies Trading Company). They passed into the hands of Lord Daimyos who had the wealth, power and interest to collect what was for the Japanese wondrous textiles in color and design. Sarasa were incorporated into the Tea Ceremony and preserved as sacred. This example is named the Kimono Shaped Fragment.