|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
| A pattern
that features flying birds grasping flowers or small branches in their beaks.
The design may feature phoenixes, mandarin ducks, or cranes. Originally
this was a Persian motif of flying phoenixes with ribbons, frequently seen
in Byzantine art, which was transmitted through China to Japan. Thus, variations
include flying birds with ribbon, ganjuchoumon 含綬鳥文. The earliest
examples in Japan can be found in the treasures in *Shousouin
正倉院 (Nara), but during the Heian period, this motif became a characteristic
Japanese theme associated with good fortune called matsukuizurumon
松喰鶴文 meaning crane with pine branches.
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