The Hidden meaning of

KIMONO PATTERNS

Hemp Leaf

Named after the hemp leaf due to its resemblance in shape, this pattern has been used to wish for vitality and development of children due to its rapid growth rate.

Additionally, hemp has traditionally been seen as a sacred plant that can be a protection from harm or evil spirits since no insects live on it. This pattern is also often used on amulets

Feather Arrow 矢絣

The arrow feather symbolizes the pursuit of a goal and is considered an auspicious pattern in Japanese tradition. The straight trajectory of an arrow, which does not return to the archer once fired, is associated with forward motion and progress. In the

Edo period (1603–1868), brides were given kimonos adorned with arrow feathers as a good luck charm, symbolizing the idea that they would not need to return to their original family home.

Fawn Spots tie die 鹿の子絞り

"Kanoko-shibori" is a classic Japanese tie-dyeing technique that creates unique embossed patterns on garments. This intricate process takes time and dedication as each spot must be individually crafted by hand. The name "kanoko" refers to the pattern's resemblance of spots on young deer.

Snake Scakes 鮫

The scale pattern, also known as the "replacement pattern," is characterized by its alternating triangles. It originated due to its resemblance to the scales of fish and snakes. The scale pattern is reminiscent of snakes and has the meaning of molting, removing bad luck and regenerating, and was considered a powerfull pattern to ward off evil spirits in the Edo period.

The combination of three triangles, referred to as "three scales," is particularly famous as the "Hojo" family crest in the era of "Kamakurabakufu" (1192-1333).

Shark Skin 鮫小紋

The shark skin pattern is a continuous arrangement of small dots that overlap in an arc-like formation. Named for its resemblance to shark skin, it appears simple at a distance, but when dyed on glossy fabric, it sparkles and sways gracefully. The most iconic type of Edo Komon is the "Same Komon."

Turtle Shell 亀甲

The hexagonal shape, which is derived from the long-lived turtle shell pattern, is considered to be an auspicious symbol of longevity in Japan. It is considered one of the most stable shapes in nature, as seen in the beehive and turtle shell, it is associated with protection from external forces. Thus, it is associated with stability and protection, representing strength and fortitude.

The simple tessellation of hexagons creates a wide range of variations, including the "Kikko Hanabishi", where the center of the hexagons forms flowers, the "Komochi Kikko", with two layers, and the "Bishamon Kikko", formed by joining three hexagons together.

Blue Ocean Wave 青海波

The undulating waves represent the ebb and flow of life, evoking a sense of serenity and tranquility. It symbolizes the continuity of life, and serves as a reminder of the importance of finding peace and tranquility in the midst of life's ups and downs, for long-lasting happiness and peaceful life. This design, with its powerful message of eternal peace, makes an ideal wedding gift as they embark on their journey together.

Mesh 網目

The design captures the essence of the fishing net's fluid movement, creating an elegant and captivating pattern. This pattern was commonly found on kimonos, hand towels, and ceramics.

In the late Edo period, the pattern was often used to depict fish, shrimp, and octopus, as well as other sea creatures, arranged in a realistic mesh pattern, reflecting the lives of fishermen and fish market workers.

Braids 籠目

A pattern that looks like a basket woven with bamboo. This is derived from the star-shaped shape in which equilateral triangles are stacked up and down. This shape is said to have the power to ward off evil spirits.

It is said that in the olden days, bamboo baskets were placed at the entrance as a talisman to ward off evil spirits.

The Arabesques 唐草

The free-flowing vines in this pattern symbolize vitality and prosperity, as well as the longevity of a family. The vines growing in all directions and entangling each other represents the interconnectedness and strength of the family.

Flowers, leaves, and fruits are sometimes added to the design, resulting in variations such as called "nindou arabesque," "grape arabesque," "peony arabesque," and "lotus arabesque."

In Japan, this pattern has a strong association with thieves, but during the Meiji era(1868-1912), it was a popular household item, commonly found in every household in the form of wrapping cloths "furoshiki".

Seven Treasures 七宝

Featuring endlessly linked circles, is considered an auspicious symbol of harmony and good luck. It also represents the idea that human relationships and connections are as valuable as precious items.

The term "Shippo" is derived from Buddhism and refers to the seven treasures: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, agate, coral, crystal, and pearl.

Stone Road 市松

The checkered pattern symbolizes prosperity, with its uninterrupted flow representing continued wealth, success and growth for future generations and businesses.

Once referred to as "stone pavement," gained widespread popularity during the mid-Edo period. Kabuki actor Ichimatsu Sanogawa's white and navy checkered hakama played a significant role in its popularity among fashion-forward women, leading to its current name.

This pattern was also selected as the emblem of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Floating Water 流水

It is a pattern captures the fluid movement of water through its pattern of intricated curved lines. Depicting the flow of water that disappears in an instant, it is often used in combination with other patterns. The running water pattern holds the meaning of "washing away hardships and misfortunes" and "flowing water is always pure without becoming muddy." Among the flowing water patterns, "Kanzesui", which is shaped like a whirlpool

Rising Steam 立涌

The Tachiwaku pattern is characterized by its depiction of rising water vapor in the form of two intersecting curves. The pattern is composed of regular, vertical wavy lines that create a sense of movement and continuity.

Often, additional elements such as clouds, flowers, and waves are incorporated into the design. The pattern is said to symbolize the rising of steam, shimmering heat haze, or ascending clouds, and is considered to be auspicious due to its upward movement.

Haze ヱ霞(えがすみ)

This design captures the elusive essence of haze or fog with its interconnected pattern of horizontal lines. Reflecting the ever-changing nature of water, this design holds a sacred and auspicious meaning just like clouds. which were believed to bring good luck and prosperity.

The haze, which is characterized by its resemblance to the ancient letter "ヱ" is often used in traditional Japanese art, and is often filled with auspicious patterns.

Losanges菱 ひし Water Chestnut Leaf 

数多くのバリエーションがあり、菱形が連続して重なる入子菱(いれこびし)や花の文様で表現した花菱(はなびし)、菱形を斜め十文字に四等分した割菱(わりびし)、松の樹皮の割れ方に似ていることから名がついた松皮菱(まつかわびし)などがある。

卍 Shape Crossings  紗綾形

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

工 Shape 工字繋ぎ

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Edo komonn

The technique of “Edo komon” which means Edo small patterns, was developed during the Edo period (1603-1868) and the government prohibition of luxury items. What initially started as elaborate dyed patterns on samurai garments for formal occasions, eventually made its way to commoner kimono. Fabric dyed with this technique is impressive as from a distance it appears to be plain cloth, but up close an extremely delicate repeated dotted pattern can be admired.

Snow Ring 雪輪

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Small Cherry Blossom 小桜文様

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Typhoon in Autum 野分(のわき、のわけ)

An old name for a typhoon. A strong wind blowing through the grass.

Cross Shape 十字絣(蚊絣)かがすり

経(たて)糸と緯(よこ)糸を十字に織り出す「十字絣」の中で、さらに細かく密に織り出したものを蚊絣といいます。

絣で花柄などの模様をあらわすのではなく、小さな十字型の絣が等間隔で規則正しく並んでいるものをさし、蚊絣のきものは遠目には無地のように見えます。

Hash 井桁

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Yoshiwara connection 吉原繋ぎ

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Incense of Genji 源氏香

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Dots/豆絞り(Pea Tie-dye)

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

young pine 若松文

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Bamboo leaf 笹の葉

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.

Pine bark stone 松皮菱

Add a video popup link to show a play button. Share blog posts, products, or promotions with your customers. Use this text to describe products, share details on availability and style, or as a space to display recent reviews or FAQs.