This silk damask kobukusa features brass-colored parnassia blossoms on delicate curlicues that represent moving water. Appropriately, the background is deep blue in color. This pattern was the favorite of General Furuta Oribe, (1544-1615) a tea enthusiast who is considered to be one of the most influential tastemakers/connoisseurs that studied under Sen-no-Rikyu. A distinct of style of ceramics that Oribe preferred to use have come to be known as Oribe Ware. Kobukusa are used as a small mat during tea practice but could be used similarly as a mat underneath a special vase or item.
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.