Meibutsu Gire is a rare kind of cloth which came to Japan from China about 600 years ago during the Kamakura and Edo periods. At that time cloth dying was not a very highly developed art in japan, so this cloth was treated as a priceless treasure and was used for sheaths for bowls and other tools from the Japanese tea ceremony, edging around expensive pictures, or in pieces for decorating scrolls, screens, and other works of art. The cloth itself came to be known as “meibutsu gire”(famous cloth).
The Japanese tea masters who collected such cloth gave names to each separate sheath and these ancient specimens have been preserved and handed down to us. We have rediscovered the process for making “meibutsu gire” and it is now valued by people involved in the tea ceremony as well as by the general public.
The name of “Araiso” comes from “Araiso-Donsu” which is one of the famous clothes (“Meibutsu Gire”). “Araiso” means the bank of a river where angry waves with many rocks lap on. “Donsu” is a kind of satin textile which came to Japan from China during the Muromachi period.
The pattern of a figure which jumped up of the carp being believed as a lucky sign fish for a long time and its designs are called “Araiso-Monyou.” The carp goes up the very fast flowing stream located in Longmen of upper reaches of the Yellow River in China which other fishes cannot go up valiantly, and the people have handed down that a carp became a dragon. This legend was likened to a human success in life, and the word such as "Toryumon (Gateway)" was born. Meanwhile, one of the Japanese traditional proverbs is "Gyakurin ni fureru" which means the person arouses an emperor’s anger. After the carp became the dragon, 36 pieces of special shaped scales under the chin grew and these scales finally became two long mustaches, and if the people can touch these mustaches, all things are destroyed immediately. This proverb was the word born based on the Chinese legend described above.
Since China affected Japan, the carp was called the “Shusse-Uo” which means a fish whose name changes as it grows up, and the carp streamer became a popular flag of the Boys’ Festival, and the figure of the carp climbing up the waterfall is an auspicious pattern.
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