The Meanings of Traditional Japanese Patterns

Wagara, the traditional Japanese designs, are the type of patterns which are peculiar to Japan. The most famous of them take a single design. They create patterns by placing the design on fabric.
They’re mainly used for packaging, kimono, and other sundries, and goods. They are ultra cute and have proper significance, too!

Wave Crest – Seigaiha

This is designed with rows of ocean waves which together form a fan-shaped pattern. It means the desire for continuous peaceful living, like the smooth waves.

Hemp Leaf – Asanoha

This pattern was named Hemp Leaf (Asanoha in Japanese) due to its resemblance to a hemp leaf. It symbolizes the growth and children’s health because hemp is durable and grows quickly.

Tortoise Shell – Kikkou

This design is made of a bunch of tortoiseshell shapes. This pattern means a prayer for long life because tortoises are considered as a symbol of longevity.

Fletching – Yagasuri

Being based on arrow fledging, this pattern is used as a lucky charm for ceremonies like weddings because there is a Japanese saying that, once an arrow is fired, it never returns.

Folding Fan – Uchiwa

This pattern looks like an opened folding fan.

In Japan, fan symbolizes prosperity and development.


Yukiwa is a Japanese pattern themed of snowflake crystals. It is understood as a good sign because the melted snow nourishes the plants. Therefore, yukiwa is often used due to its cool moral.


This pattern expresses the rise of the stream. In Japan, it is thought that the rise of the stream is very auspicious. Therefore, the tatewaku is also considered as an auspicious pattern.


Namichidori is the pattern in which the chidori flies over the nami (wave). Japanese people believe that the wave means the worldly concerns. No matter how big the wave is, people will overcome it. Therefore, this pattern symbolizes family safety and the eternal love of couples.

This entry was posted in Blogging and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.