This unusual nishiki kobukusa is said to depict the grain pattern of the wooden pillars supporting the hall of the seven temples (shichido-garan) at the Horyuji temple in Nara. Horyuji houses the world’s oldest surviving wooden structures and it is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The temple’s pillars have endured the wind and snow for more than 1300 years.
Kitamura Tokusai has been making silk cloths, or fukusa, for practitioners of tea since 1712. Their elegant textiles are among the finest woven silk fabrics available in Japan and are made by highly skilled weavers in Kyoto’s historic Nishijin area. Kitamura Tokusai’s inventory of fabrics features over 400 patterns of historical significance, many of which were expressly favored by the founders and most prominent devotees of Japan’s tea culture. The Kitamura family continues to warmly welcome tea and textile enthusiasts to their Nishijin shop by hanging a fukusa, a symbol of hospitality, in the entrance.