Tobacco was introduced to Japan in the mid-16th century via trade and quickly gained popularity. By the Edo Period (1603-1868), use of tobacco was well-established. Tobacco pouches soon became a fashionable accessory through which people expressed themselves.
This one dates back to the early 1900’s. When picked up, you will realize the fine quality of textile used to make it. Upon closer inspection, you will notice the well-thought out use of the textile. The pouch is made with a single fabric. The artist chooses which pattern belongs where, always visualizing how the work unfolds to the user.
First you are met with a simpler pattern that is used on the front of the pouch. When opened, the climactic pattern appears. Expertly crafted with woven silk, it presents a design full of energy, depicting a carp in a strong current of water. The back concludes with a quieter pattern of two birds and a floral motif set against a geometric pattern.
The color of the lining is a deep espresso brown that complements the outer textile and matches the color of tobacco. The work is a fine example of quintessential understated elegance, deserving to be brought back to life.