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Kimono Patterns

While a kimono can be made with any beautiful art, there are certain recurring themes and images that have meaning rooted in Japanese tradition.

Flowers

Flowers, varying by the season, are perhaps the most common kimono motif, and the symbolism of flowers in Japan could fill a book. A few common flowers include cherry blossoms, representing transient beauty and elegance, and plum blossom, representing peace, renewal, and serving as a protective ward against evil influence. Bamboo, a quick-growing Japanese grass grown around the world, symbolizes longevity, and its wintry companion the pine tree depicts steadfastness and the wisdom of old age. The iris protects from malevolent spirits, and bellflower embodies genuine love. The peony pays high compliments by embodying wealth, fortune, and honor. Many flowers overlap these definitions -- if you want to choose a kimono with a certain meaning, research the flowers in the patterns!

Animals

While animals patterns are less common than flowers, birds often make an appearance. The crane is a revered creature, said to live for centuries and thrive in the land of gods and immortals, and may appear on kimonos. Peacocks, with their glorious tails, portray love and kindness. The phoenix, a mythological bird with the tail of a peacock and a long neck, is a sacred symbol of peace and good fortune, and the ever-popular mythical dragon depicts wealth and power. Dragons are considered masculine, while phoenixes are feminine, so the two together are often seen on wedding regalia.


Geometric Designs
Simple patterns on the kimono also have meaning. Overlapping circles, called "seigaiha," symbolize rippling waves on water and represent the flow of life and luck. Hexagons reflect the strength and long life of the tortoise, and "shippo," a peculiar design with an encircled four-point star, are a common Buddhist symbol.


Regardless of meaning, in the modern era, people choose their kimonos mostly for beauty and personal preference. We have a wide selection of kimonos available, both in cotton and vintage kimonos in silk, for you to choose from.