Mirror with Paulownia Crests

Diameter: 8 cm (3 1/8 in.); Overall: 16 cm (6 5/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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The Japanese used chrysanthemums as decorative elements on mirrors. In the Heian period, a chrysanthemum with cranes or long-tailed birds was a common motif. Later, in the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, chrysanthemum designs were divided into three patterns with different symbolic associations: Chrysanthemum with Cranes represented longevity; Water Flowing suggested longevity as well as the Noh drama Kikujido, or Chrysanthemum Boy; and East Fence alluded to the poem "Drinking Wine" by Tao Yuanming (AD 365-427). Here, the mirror featuring Buddhist iconography (kyojo) and a chrysanthemum design on the back shows that the flower was also appreciated in the context of Buddhism in the Kamakura period.
Mirror with Paulownia Crests

Mirror with Paulownia Crests


Japan, Muromachi period (1392–1573)

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