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笠松 Kasamatsu (Hat of Pine)

This playful motif consists of pine foliage designed to resemble a conical hat with branches representing the hat’s drawstrings. This design is sometimes combined with Sasa. (Dwarf Bamboo leaves)

霞 Kasumi (Mist)

This pattern recreates the phenomena of objects seen from afar being blurred. It sometimes represents the passage of time or blurred realities.

青海波 Seigaiha (Blue ocean waves)

This typical geometric patterns uses concentric semicircles superimposed to represent waves. In the Edo period it was also referred to as ‘Seihasui’ (Blue wave waters).

飛鶴 Tobi Zuru (Flying Crane)

In Japan, the crane has long been loved by the people, and considered a good omen, and auspicious as a motif. Accordingly, crane patterns are used for celebratory purposes.

桐 Kiri (Paulownia)

Paulownia flowers are not actually connected to the leaves of a plant, but they are typically drawn that way in motifs depicting them. This is also a popular crest design.

竹 Take (Bamboo)

This is associated with Japanese folktale of princess Kaguya, discovered as a baby inside a bamboo stalk. Bamboo motifs are considered to be particularly sacred, auspicious patterns, as they grow so vertically towards the heavens.

扇面揃え Senmenzoroe (Arranged Fans)

A folding fan, also called a ‘suehiro’, is a symbol of growth and prosperity. It is also a pattern that conveys auspiciousness.

麻の葉 Asa no ha (Hemp leaf pattern)

This pattern refers to triangles overlapped so that they intersect with one another at points radiating in six directions. For this reason, it is also called ‘mutsuboshi’, or the six-pointed star. These patterns signify parents’ wish that their children grow to be strong like Hemp.

桜 Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)

Sakura were beloved by the Heian nobility and have since become symbolic of Japan. There are many variations of Sakura design patterns.

梅 Ume (Plum)

The blossom of the Ume, which originated in China, has long been one of the most beloved flowers in Japan. Numerous patterns highlight or incorporate the plum blossom in their design.

菊 Kiku (Chrysanthemums)

The Chrysanthemum has become synonymous with autumn. It was originally brought to Japan as a medicinal plant. Consequently, these patterns have connotations of longevity.

花菱 Hanabishi (Flower Rhombus)

Rhombuses are geometric shapes formed by intersecting straight lines laid diagonally. Flower Rhombuses refer to rhombuses drawn with flowers.

牡丹 Botan (Peony)

In China, the Peony, which is also called the ‘flower of the rich’ and the ‘king’s flower’, is revered as one of the most beautiful of flowers. This is one example of one of the many Peony patterns.

松竹梅 Shochikubai (Pine, Bamboo and Plum blossom)

Akin to the Chinese ‘Four Noble Ones’ concept that combines the orchid, Bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum blossom, there is a Japanese grouping consisting of the Japanese plants. The pattern carries auspicious connotation and can be used in any season.

唐草 karakusa (Arabesque)

This type of pattern often adorns Japanese cotton furoshiki, a wrapping cloth used to carry gifts and other items. It is said that this design originated in Western Asia and came to Japan via the Silk Road and China.

笹の葉 Sasa no ha (Dwarf Bamboo Leaves)

Sasa is a type of Bamboo with small leaves, and it is distinguished from normal bamboo. When depicted in snow, it is called ‘Yukimochi sasa’.

波頭 Namigashira (Wave crests)

The dynamic pattern depicts powerful cresting waves. It is also referred to as 'Tachinami' (breaking waves) and 'Aranami' (rough seas). This motif is commonly used on the colorful hand-painted flags called 'Tairyoubata' that adorn fishing boats.

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