Carpet dantsu



Daruma Pilgirms Gallery


Dantsu, Japanese carpets

The latest issue of the Daruma Magazine, Issue 63, has an article about
dantsu, Japanese cotton carpets or rugs

Daruma Magazine

Daruma Magazine Issue 13 . dantsu
with many illustrations


I watched a TV special about these carpets just the other day.

They come from three areas, Ako in Hyogo prefecture is most famous. Nabeshima and Sakai are next.
Ako was also famous for its salt production and quite a rich city.
These carpets came into fabrication at the Meiji- and Taisho-Period.

They were made from cotton, since wool is not suitable for the Japanese climate.
The threads are quite long and make a comfortable cushion to sit on.
The carpets came in the size of a zabuton cushion or the size of a tatami and could be used for the tea ceremony. Many dantsuu could be placed in a great temple hall for celebrations, to have the visitors sit more comfortable and warm in winter.

CLICK for more  段通 photos
zabuton style, made from silk

. . . CLICK here for 緞通 Photos !


Nabeshima dantsuuu 鍋島段通 Nabeshima Dantsu cotton carpets

- quote
Nabeshima Dantsu is a traditional cotton fabric carpet designnated as an offering to shogun family from the Nabeshima clan during the Edo era.
The tradition is herited to nowadays. Its tightly hand-knitted cotton-thread of excellent quality, using old weaving tools, presents your naked feet solid, elegant and comfortable touch.
I have self-confidence that I am one of those few artists who make the modern Nabeshima Dantsu that can match today's life style, yet maintaining the traditional feature.
- source : Kayoko Ohba

More beautiful samples :
- source : nabeshima-dantsu.com/showcase


The Japanese name for carpet is
juutan じゅうたん【絨毯/絨緞】

Mostly used for carpets from Persia, China and other Asian countries.

Some vocabulary, mostly about patterns used for Japanese carpets:

amiriken あみりけん 網利剣 sharp sword with net mesh pattern
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

chuuhana ちゅうはな dark blue color

dantsuuba, dantsuu ba 段通場 dantsu carpet mills

hanabishi はなびし【花菱】flower-shaped rombus patterns
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ichimatsu moyoo いちまつ(もよう)【市松模様】checkered pattern
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

CLICK for more photos inuriken pattern
inuriken, inu riken いぬりけん  犬利剣 sharp sword and dogs (with pine trees and animals)

kani botan かにぼたん【蟹牡丹】crab and peony pattern
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kikkoo きっこう【亀甲】tortoise shell pattern
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

sanjuu ichinen gata 三十一年形 31年形 さんじゅういちねんがた "pattern from the year 31"
special of the Ako dentsu rugs

sujitsumi すじつみ applying sissors to cut the border of each pattern


IN olden times woven rugs were not known in Japan.
The wealthy classes of Japan covered their floors with grass, over which they spread the skins of animals. The poorer classes had not even skins, but only reeds or straw. About four hundred years ago silk and wool rugs were introduced into Japan from Persia, China, and India. For a time the Japanese imitated these rugs, but later the industry ceased.
Since the opening up of the country, however, rug-weaving has prospered, and the introduction of fine cotton yarns of uniform quality has increased greatly the growth of all textile industries. The modern Japanese rugs are made of cotton or jute, and are used extensively in the United States in summer homes. In the towns which produce these rugs little children may be seen busily engaged in weaving, their small fingers being very deft at this work.

The chief colors employed by the Japanese in their rug-weaving are blue, white, and sometimes a beautiful pink. In weaving, designing, and coloring, as in everything else the natives do, their exactness of finish and thoroughness in detail are noticeable. The Persian designs which were once reproduced in Japan are now supplanted by designs purely Japanese. The dragon is a favorite design in some of the older rugs.
source : www.oldandsold.com


Ako City Tabuchi Museum of Art
Tabuchi Kinenkan

The Ako City Tabuchi Museum of Art displays artwork donated by the Tabuchi family, a family that successfully engaged in the salt making business during the Edo period. The collection includes Japanese paintings, calligraphy, tea ceremony equipment, and marriage ceremony artifacts. In addition, there is a wide selection of tea ceremony equipment which are displayed according to each season.
source : www.kansaiartbeat.com


Tibetan Skeleton Carpet

China, Ningxia. 19th c.
source : www.asianart.com/lieberman


Chinese Carpets – Art From the Steppes

Shoso-in felt carpets, dating from the Nara period --

The earliest woolen textiles with a possible Chinese attribution are the felts in the Shoso-in Treasure House in Nara, Japan. Eiland illustrates two these and a third appears in Jodai-Gire, Kaneo Matsumoto’s account of the Shoso-in textiles. Another appears in Kurt Erdmann’s ‘Seven Hundred Years’. We should re-examine the conventional Chinese attribution for these pieces, which are believed to have been mad in the 8th century during a T’ang dynasty supported by sinicized turks. “Jodai Gire” is curiously vague on the subject, “We cannot be certain that sheep were no raised in ancient Japan, but it seems unlikely. Probably these rugs were imported from either China or Korea.”

• Two felts from the Shoso-in Treasure House, Nara, Japan, 8th century. Given the description of felts in early texts, it is probable these two pieces are Mongol pieces, possibly used as door covers on the yurts or tents.

• A fabulous example of a felt that may very well be Mongol also. The aesthetic is very refined. 8th century, Shoso-in Treasure House, Nara, Japan. A detailed 13th century account of Mongol yurts adn their felts, quoted by Bertold Spuler, in 'The History of the Mongols', notes that embroidered "birds and beasts" were featured in the designs of Mongol felts.

- Felt, 8th-9th century, Shoso-in Treasure House, Nara, Japan The elaborate floral designs and palette seen on this felt are remarkably different from those other felts seen below, also housed in the Shoso-in.Perhaps this marked difference is due to the sinicisation of design elements during the reign of the Sha-'to Turk emperors in the late T'ang period

- source : Thomas Cole -



juutan 絨毯 じゅうたん carpet
dantsuu 緞通(だんつう)Japanese carpet
juutan 絨緞(じゅうたん) carpet
kaapetto カーペット carpet, Teppich
Persian rug, Perserteppich

kigo for all winter
Although it is in our homes all year, we feel the warmth from it most in the winter months, especially in Japan, when you sit on the floor and have an insulating carpet on the tatami mats.

My Carpet Meditation Nr. 1

morning meditation -
the mind crawls along
carpet patterns

My Carpet Meditation Nr. 2


summer heat ...
my cat hides under
the silk carpet

My Cat Haiku Kun
Gabi Greve, Summer 2008


by the riverside
dragons on the carpet
bask under the sun

Sunil Uniyal, New Delhi


sinking into
the soft red carpet
my aching knees

CLICK for Claudia,s Carpet

Claudia Cadwell
. WKD ... on FACEBOOK . June 2009


Daruma Pilgrims in Japan

O-Fudo Sama Gallery



anonymous said...

Gabi sensei,
Ooh, I like that haiku!

anonymous said...

I think even for people who don't meditate (as such) they can relate to this, because on one level any kind of mental concentration on one
thing can be distracted by something else? Even worse if you are trying to avoid 'mindfulness' which I believe is a mental action in its own right. ;-)

winter morning meditation -
the mind crawls along
carpet patterns

Gabi Greve, January 2007

Wonderful haiku, and not just visual, I really experience 'carpet
patterns' making me almost dizzy.

I also feel that even though the first line is very long that it works, and gives us not only the season, but an experience of being in a cold start to the day place feeling. ;-)

Wonderful wonderful! Just glad it's summer here or I would be
shivering uncontrollably right now. ..grin..

all my best, A.

anonymous said...

This is really fine, Gabi, and I fully agree with A.about that
first line: long, but every word works.

anonymous said...

If I may jump in, it's interesting why exactly it works so well.
If you think of it, you don't need "meditation" (speaking to Gabi) because the mind creeping along definitely denotes and includes meditation... however the addition of "meditation" makes the line itself creep along, so you have a parallel between not only concrete things like the winter's morning and the mind moving ploddingly, deliberately, ever so slowly, but also between the lines themselves, it is such a morning that even the words, the pattern (in the poem as well as what's happening with the rug's pattern), the cadence, all creep along in like manner. Gabi, this is excellent!

Rebba said...

threads of thought
weave designs of nature
the mind carpets them

anonymous said...

It is a very interesting reading. For the observer, meditation and mind have a very puzzling almost vexing relationship. It is so well brought out by Gabi.
May I suggest removing even 'morning' from L1 because irrespective of the time of the day mind can behave the way depicted by Gabi. But then the
haiku with 'meditation' used as such have a kigo? thinking aloud

Anonymous said...

I understand where you are going, v., but there is such a difference
between morning light and say, late afternoon or early evening light, for me, distinguishing makes it more vivid... but of course, I'm not the poet!

anonymous said...

On that first line, I feel, as I've said elsewhere, that every word in it is working, which is why it works as a whole, in spite of its length. That said, I hink "winter" is the most expendable word of the three. while it does identify the season, this may mean more to the poet than it does to the reader, and that's usually a sign that it can go.
Once again, though, I like the line, and the poem, as is.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you put it this way B. I'll use this as a measure from now on.