Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This pattern shows lines even closer together than the mansuji ones. Strictly speaking, they're supposed to be one thread thick. Also, this pattern presents horizontal lines that intertwine with the vertical ones.

The name hakeme (刷毛目) means "traces of a brush" thus indicating that the lines are as thin as the traces of a bristle brush.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Lines even closer together: two threads for one color, and another two threads for the other. Its name, mansuji (万筋), means "ten thousand lines".


In this pattern the lines are closer together, usually weawing two threads for the stripes and four for the background color. Its name is sensuji (千筋), meaning "a thousand lines".


This pattern, consisting in the repetition of a single line, is called "daimyo stripes" or daimyō-jima (大名縞) in Japanese. The most usual form of this pattern is woven with two colored threads per stripe and six threads for the background.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


This pattern is called "three vertical lines" or misuji-date (三筋立). It's made up of three lines repeating at a constant distance.

Monday, June 27, 2011


The next six patterns only differ in the number of lines that compose them. This first one, called kintsū-jima (金通縞), is made up of two lines or thin stripes, repeating at a set space.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


This pattern receives its name, katsuo-jima (鰹縞), from a fish called katsuo (skipjack tuna). The side of this fish's body changes its color from darker stripes to lighter ones.

Friday, June 17, 2011


The name ryōtaki-jima (両滝縞) means "two cascades". I guess it's self-explaining :)


Taki-jima (滝縞) means "cascade-stripes". It's the name given to this pattern since it looks like water falling to a lower level. This effect is attained by reducing the thickness of the lines as they move apart.


Now, the next pattern would be created adding an additional thin line to the other side of the bō-jima, ending with a pattern known as ryōkomochi-jima (両子持縞), meaning "having two children" for obvious reasons.


The next pattern is called komochi-jima (子持縞). Its name means "having a child", which refers to the thinner line accompanying the bō-jima.


The most elementary kind of wagara is the stripe pattern, or shima (縞). Among all the possible combinations, the simplest one is called bō-jima (棒縞), literally meaning "stick stripe", made of alternating color vertical stripes.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wagara or the traditional Japanese patterns

I'm starting this blog to talk about the traditional Japanese patterns known as wagara (和柄). Once very common, its use declined as the Japanese moved away from the traditional clothing such as kimono. However, in the last few years we're seeing a revival of wagara as it's become "somewhat" trendy.

In the next posts, I'll try to introduce different kinds of patterns as well as providing a historical background and explanation if possible.

Also, I'll present you with a list of the most common colors used in the traditional clothing.

I hope you enjoy your time reading about this not-well-known topic.