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Antique Nobori Banner: Samurai Horse and Gold Gourd

Antique Nobori Banner: Samurai Horse and Gold Gourd

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Textiles: Pre 1920: Item # 681557
Asian Art By Kyoko
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Nobori banners, samurai Yoroi and Kabuto helmets, carps, musha ningyo (warrior doll) were all a part of the display used for Boy's Day (renamed to Children's Day) on May 5th in Japan. They reflect the parents’ wish to inspire their sons in manliness, discipline, bravery and the honor codes that are associated with them.

This is an old Japanese nobori banner with Hideyoshi (Toyotomi), retainers, and a streamer in the background. A golden gourd (yellow dye) with small gourds underneath is Hideyoshi’s most well known 'Umajirushi,' the decorative piece on top of the streamers and banners. Hideyoshi added a small gourd after every battle that he won.

Hideyoshi (Toyotomi) has been the popular hero figure probably because he was just like one of us; he was born in a peasant family during the 16th century wartime. He started out as a lowly servant of Nobunaga Oda. ‘Saru’ (Japanese for monkey), was a nickname given by Lord Nobunaga. Hideyoshi was a loyal servant, always ready to serve Nobunaga whenever he was needed. He kept Nobunaga's sandals deep in his chest pocket so he could always be prepared with warm sandals

This nobori is dated as the 4th year of Taisho (1915) along with the name of the owner (or newly born boy in the family) at the bottom. The calligraphy in the upper area indicates that this nobori was donated to a temple or shrine. This is a 100 years old nobori. The white area (include handles) is deep tan color with some stains in the upper area. The color of dyes and condition of the fabric (thick cotton) is still very good. Large nobori; 26 1/2" x 349" (29'), 67.3 cm x 8.865 meters. the lower design area is 177" (14.75'), 4.5 meters long.