Tiger 1000 Stitch Belt and Tiger Cloth Amulets of Protection
“The land area that makes up modern-day Gifu became part of the Yamato Court around the middle of the fourth century. Because it is in the middle of the island of Honshu, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan’s history, the oldest major one being the Jinshin War in 672, which led to the establishment of Emperor Tenmu as the 40th emperor of Japan.
The area of Gifu Prefecture consists of the old provinces of Hida and Mino, as well as smaller parts of Echizen and Shinano. The name of the prefecture derives from its capital city, Gifu, which was named by Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify all of Japan in 1567. The first character used comes from Qishan (岐山), a legendary mountain from which most of China was unified, whereas the second character comes from Oufu (曲阜), the birthplace of Confucius. Nobunaga chose those characters because he wanted to unify all of Japan and he wanted to be viewed as a great mind.
Historically, the prefecture served as the center of sword making in all of Japan, with Seki being known for making the best swords in Japan. More recently, its strengths have been in fashion (primarily in the city of Gifu) and aerospace engineering (Kakamigahara). Source: Wikipedia
When folded, the heavy rice paper package measures approximately: 4.25″ wide X 10.00″ high; 20.00 wide X 15.00″ high unfolded (see images). The large custom painted tiger senninbari measures approximately: 32.50″ long X 7.25″ high. A good luck coin is sewn to the tiger’s head, near its ear. The stitches were knotted in green cotton thread, which symbolizes health and harmony. It and the other two tiger amulets were made by the same artist, as evidenced by his name stamp. The other good luck tiger amulets measure approximately 14.00″ square. You’ll note from the images that the tigers are similar, however, their tails are portrayed differently, hence two unique amulets! The artist’s red seal is too difficult to read. Similar to poets and story writers, artists often chose a “nom de plum” to describe themselves and the personal inkan reflects this name. These are often impossible to read…….(see all images). The packet is named and we know both the owner as well as the organization that presented it. (Note: Similar senninbari are discussed in the book, Imperial Japanese Good Luck Flags and One-Thousand Stitch Belts. Similar tiger cloth amulets are discussed in the book, Battle Carried: Imperial Japanese Tiger Art Good Luck Flags of World War Two. Both books are available for purchase here.)