Design Motifs

By Saburō Mizoguchi; Louise Allison Cort | Go to book overview
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akigusa: various autumn flowers and grasses, especially popular as motifs for maki-e inlaid lacquer
arare (hailstone): pattern of small, evenly spaced squares; an alternate name for ishi-datami on yūsoku textiles (see also ishi-datami, ka)
ashide: originally, a loose, flowing style of calligraphic ideogram inserted into a picture to resemble reeds, whirlpools, tree roots, or branches; hence, any design in which ideograms or phonetic symbols are made to serve as part of a natural landscape (see also uta-e)
atsuita: stiff brocade with twilled ground, frequently used in costumes
aya: plain color twill-weave silk, often used as ground for raised woven patterns
ban-e: medallion motif used on textiles, classical dance costumes, and furnishings during the Heian period
bingata: multicolor stencil-dyed textile from the Ryūkyū Islands, popular in Japan during the Edo period
chayatsuji: bleached hemp cloth dyed predominantly in indigo by means of rice-paste resist method, usually with a landscape design, and used for summer kimono. During the Edo period, chayatsuji textiles were sometimes further ornamented with embroidery and used for women's wear in highranking families.
chinkin (sunken gold): a Chinese method of lacquer ornamentation brought to Japan in the Muromachi period. Thin strips of gold foil are pressed into finely carved contours in the lacquer surface.
Edo komon: small allover stencil-dyed textile pattern, produced in Edo
fuse-saishiki: decorative technique in which the pattern or polychromed surface is partially concealed by an openwork covering of tortoise shell or crystal
fusenryõ (floating-line textile): originally, a type of plain twill with designs superimposed in loose, floating threads; now designates any large medallion pattern of the type common on such textiles
fusuma: sliding doors separating the rooms of a Japanese house; usually made of heavy, opaque paper with painted decoration covering a wooden frame
habutae: soft plain woven silk resembling taffeta, produced by the Nishijin weavers since the Momoyama period
hanabishi (flower diamond): a diamond pattern with foliate edges; frequently combined with kikkõ lattice (see also kikkõ hanabishi)
hõju: Buddhist peach-shaped symbol of a round jewel with pointed top, sometimes ringed with


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Design Motifs


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