japanese motif

Calling it right now:

Now that we got a good look at it, I am 100% sure this thing:

Is a reference to Kaguya Hime (you all know that one fairytale about the moon princess that a poor woodcutter finds inside a bamboo?):

It goes part-ways in explaining why it looks the way it does, but lbr the rest of these assholes just look weird and creepy


Shi-Shi and Peony Kimono 1930s by Blue Ruin 1

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Maiko (apprentice geisha) Fukiko wearing a fabulous shibori (tie-dyed) kimono decorated with applique and embroidery in the form of shi-shi (lion dogs) playing amid botan (tree peonies). 

Although it is not obvious from this postcard, another image shows that Fukiko has her hair dressed in the sakkou hairstyle, indicating that she is in the final stage of her apprenticeship and will become a geiko (geisha) in the next few weeks.

Meisen Kimono.  Early Showa period (1927-1939), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery. An unlined meisen silk summer kimono featuring repeating wave and thistle motifs. The thistle is a rare motif in Japanese art, and the it is uncertain whether its presence here was meant to be decorative or auspicious. The alternating blue and white wave motifs - the main theme on this summer kimono - are of a type halfway between abstract “sei-gai-ha” ones with their concentric semicircles, and the realistic ones such as created on the woodblock print “The Great wave of Kanagawa” by the artist Hokusai. of Waves and spray, called “araumi”. are accomplished here in the simplest of ways. The wave has been a favorite motif among Japanese artists for centuries, perhaps because the island of Japan in a huge sea, and because of the Japanese love of nature and the forces within it.

Yuzen-painted kimono. Meiji period (1868-1911), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery.  An impressive silk hitoe (unlined) summer kimono featuring yuzen-dyed fan and shaded bamboo motifs. Red, yellow, green and blue fans are the predominant motif. The Japanese believe that the handle of the fan symbolizes the beginning of life and the bamboo ribs are for the roads of life going out in all directions. Moreover, the action of opening a fan is an auspicious omen for the ‘unfolding’ of the future. As for the bamboo motifs, their evergreen leaves connote 'constancy’, the evenly-spread nodes signify 'moderation’, and its bending in the wind implies 'moral resilience’. Additionally, there are subtle 'yabane’ (arrow feather) motifs that are embroidered at 45 degree angles: these motifs were created utilizing stiff and shiny metallic and black 'urushi’ (lacquered) threads. The design of this kimono is unusual: the dual-colored fans coming out at an angle from the narrow white line bamboo stalks – the total effect is striking, one that both respects tradition, as well as possessing a rather 'modern’ graphic design.

Girl in White (1905-1907). Ruth Pratt Bobbs (American, 1884-1973). Oil on canvas. Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Although the sitter’s hat and cape did belong to the artist, the model was a young Scotswoman named Jesseca Penn who later posed often for Robert Henri. The Japanese screen, a stock motif employed by Bobbs’s teachers in Boston and New York, creates the bright tones that suffuse the picture. Its vertical and diagonal bamboo stalks echo the lines of the sitter, deftly integrating the figure with the background.

Pokémon: Maiko-chu of Kyoto 

Starting the month of May with something a little different, this is one scan I’ve really been looking forward to doing & sharing for a while! Ever since I heard of the opening of a Pokemon Center in Kyoto and saw the designs, I just knew I had to have at least part of the collection. Sourced from a clear file, although made of plastic at touch it actually feels like a simulation of washi paper, quite appropriate given the whole theme.

I can’t help but love when traditional Japanese motifs are mixed with pop culture & it’s seen quite often in the Pokemon anime as well, but this design has blown me away! Just look at the Ho-oh in the kimono & the poke-ball parasol. Trivia: Kyoto is the inspiration for “Eucruteak/Enju City” in the Pokemon games series & host a maiko dance theater. Makes sense, ne? I’d wish they’d made Maiko-chu’s flower kanzahi hair ornament for real!

If re-posting please credit to “flowermiko” at Tumblr or Twitter.  DO NOT UPLOAD TO ZEROCHAN. Thank you and enjoy!

Le Rêve (1890). Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (Swiss-born French, 1859-1923). Gillotage. Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne.

This poster for Le Rêve at l’Académie nationale de musique à Paris reflects the Japanese art that was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century. The star, half geisha, half ballerina, walks toward the viewer as she opens her elaborate costume. Japanese motifs, such as the bamboo and fans, are used often.


Summer Kimono.  Late Edo period (1840-1867), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery.

A remarkable chirimen (crepe) silk unlined summer kimono featuring pigmented painted fatsia japonica leaves and cherry blossoms. The silk is a very pronounced crepe (twisted silk threads). The artist has created graduations in color within the fatsia leaves to great effect. The silk is a very pronounced crepe (twisted silk threads). The fatsia japonica is rarely utilized as a motif on Japanese kimonos. One of Japan’s most common household garden plants - often referred by the Japanese as ‘yatsude’ - their large evergreen leaves look like giant outstretched hands which would be useful for welcoming and gathering up good fortune and prosperity. Their leaves have 7 or 9 'fingers’, and as odd numbers, are considered to be bringers of good luck. The other motif on this kimono are cherry blossoms, which symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality. In terms of technique and artwork, we have not seen another kimono like this example. We are assuming that the artwork was laid down by brushing pigmented colors onto crepe silk. The artist has created meticulous graduations in color within the fatsia leaves to great effect.