The pine, bamboo and plum blossoms are all auspicious motifs found in nature. The evergreen pine symbolizes the strength and devotion of men; plum blossoms are the purity, subtle beauty and inner strength of women. Bamboos are often used to describe the personality of men and women; for example, a person being as straight (honest) as bamboo, it could also mean flexible (bendable) to a large extent. When pine (matsu, SHO), bamboo (take, CHIKU) and plum blossoms (ume, BAI) are put together, they are called "Sho chiku bai".
The pattern of floral roundels was a favorite among women of the samurai class in the late Edo period (1603-1868). This fukusa is probably from the mid to late 1800s and appropriate to cover the wedding gift or New Year's feasts. Dimensions: 22 1/2" (57cm) wide x 25 3/4" (65.5cm) long. Circa Meiji (1868-1912).