Call
503.222.0335
Contact
info@kirikomade.com
Store info

MON-FRI: 10am - 6pm
SAT&SUN: 12pm - 6pm

Directions

325 NW Couch St. Portland, OR 97209

325 NW Couch St. Portland, OR 97209

MON-FRI: 10am - 6pm
SAT&SUN: 12pm - 6pm

和柄 : Japanese Patterns - Part 2
· ·

和柄 : Japanese Patterns - Part 2

· ·

Traditional Japanese designs, or "Wagara", are traditional Japanese patterns. They are history designs, each with a specific meaning, originally created for decorating traditional garments. The patterns that date back to the 8th century Heian period of Japan, are largely inspired by nature and were crafted using techniques from painting and Chinese calligraphy. They were worn with purpose for different seasons and occasions. However, in the last century this language of pattern was being lost as younger generations shed traditional dress for more westernized clothing. This spurred the use of "Wagara" in homewares and fashion accessories in an effort to prolong the dialect of these traditional Japanese patterns, making them just as relevant and usable today.

 

_ _ _

鶴: TSURU

In Japan, the crane (Tsuru) is a common symbol representing longevity and good fortune. It is typically represented with the tortoise. There is a phrase saying Tsuru wa sen-nen, Kame wa man-nen; A crane a thousand years, a Tortoise ten thousand years. Initially, Tsuru was used only for high-ranking families. Over the years, it has often been combined with other patterns representing auspiciousness.

中国をはじめ、鶴は日本で長寿の象徴とされています。古来、他の文様との組み合わせによっては、地位の高い人の物でもありました。他の吉祥文と組み合わせて文様化されたものも多いようです。
 

_ _ _

亀:KAME

The tortoise is a symbol for long-life and good fortune. It is said to live for 10,000 years. Sometimes the tortoise is shown with a tail made of seaweed, showing its age, which is called a minogame.


_ _ _

桜:SAKURA

Sakura is a popular Japanese pattern, representing cherry blossom petals. A symbol of spring, it is also commonly used throughout the year. Cherry blossoms are a common symbol of Japan, and also of beginnings as they bloom at the start of the school year. 

_ _ _

紗綾形:SAYAGATA 

Sayagata is a pattern of interlocking manji - ancient Buddhist symbols that have been used across many cultures for thousands of years. The symbol came to Japan around the 1500s, and is known to represent life and strength.

_ _ _

椿:TSUBAKI

Tsubaki is one of our most popular patterns, representing the camellia flower. The pattern became popular in the Edo era, and has different meanings depending on the color. Red flowers symbolize love, and white ones show longing. As camellia begin blooming in the winter, it is a hopeful sign for the coming spring. 


_ _ _

千鳥:CHIDORI

Chidori, or Plovers, are a migratory bird in Japan. They are usually depicted flying over waves. Since they have to brave high waves and strong winds, they are a symbol of strength and perseverance. 


_ _ _

兎:USAGI

Rabbits are a particular symbol in Japan. There are two common stories. One is Inaba no Shirousagi; The White Rabbit of Inaba. In one part of the story, the rabbit challenges the sharks to see whose clan is larger; the rabbits or the sharks. The sharks line up over the ocean, and the rabbit counts them as he jumps along. It is actually just a trick to use the sharks as a bridge to cross the ocean to Inaba. Ever since, this has been a popular motif. The other common story is of the rabbit living on the moon. Like the European "man in the moon", in Eastern mythology there is a rabbit in the face of the moon. In Japan, this is a rabbit pounding mochi rice cakes. The word for "making mochi", mochizuki, sounds very similar to "moon mochi", mochitsuki.


_ _ _

雪輪:YUKIWA

The Yukiwa pattern represents snowflakes, and was drawn before people could see the real geometry of snowflakes. It became popular in Edo period Japan for summer kimonos, usually depicted with flowers or bamboo shoots inside the circles.
 

_ _ _

井:IGETA

Igeta depicts a well, and is a common motif in Kasuri fabrics because of its simplicity. Since a well is a source of water, it symbolizes life and good fortune. It also is a popular family symbol.


_ _ _

松葉:MATSUBA

Matsuba represents long pine needles that fell from a tree. It is a symbol for longevity and perseverance, like the evergreen tree that stays green through harsh winters.


_ _ _

鱗:UROKO

Uroko means scales, as in the scales of a fish or snake. It is used as a protective charm, symbolizing scales of a dragon, as a pattern on the lining of Kimono or Obi. However, it is also seen in theater on villains as the scales of a snake.
 

_ _ _

桐:KIRI

The Kiri, or Paulownia, is also known as the "princess tree". Traditionally, the trees would be planted when a girl was born, and cut down to be sold and made into gifts when she was the age to marry. It is closely associated with the Ho-ou Phoenix, which was said to nest in the tree, and would then watch over the family. The Kiri is also a current symbol for the government in Japan.