Palanquin (norimono) with Tokugawa and Ichijo Crests
Unknown artist, Japanese, Japan
Palanquin (norimono) with Tokugawa and Ichijo Crests, Late 18th Century-1st Half of the 19th Century
Gilded design applied over black lacquered wood, metal fittings
134.6 x 130.8 cm (53 x 51 1/2 inches)
Gift of Brown University 2004.113
This type of palanquin (norimono) may have conveyed a high-ranking bride to her husband’s residence for their wedding. The bride in this case would have been of the Ichijo¯ branch of the aristocratic Fujiwara family, and the groom was descended from Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543—1616), the first Edo-period military ruler, or shogun. The bride’s crest appears on the ceiling of the palanquin interior, and the two crests on the exterior are those of the Tokugawa. The gabled exterior reflects architecture of the period. The slatted windows are still covered with fragments of silk gauze, and the shades survive. The interior is covered with paintings from the Tale of Genji, an eleventh-century Japanese novel. Auspicious symbols decorate the inside rear wall’ crane, tortoise, bamboo, and pine tree.