Japan's over two centuries of self-imposed isolationism ended in the 1850s. Soon afterwards the nation made a concerted effort to industrialize. Successful manifestations of “modernization” were sources of great pride to the Japanese. Imposing images of steamships, like this five-panel futon cover using both warp and weft kasuri and made in the town of Kurume, were especially popular in the first two decades of the 20th century.

Copyright 2006 Jeffrey Krauss and Ann Marie Moeller