Kimono has many attractive patterns. Here are 8 typical examples.
Katami-gawari designed kimono is made of differently colored or patterned cloths for each side of the body. It is popular for the Noh costumes.
Okame sakura is a short cherry tree that can be found on the grounds of Ninna-ji temple in Kyoto.
Dan-gawari (checkerboard pattern)
To make a dan-gawari designed kimono, pieces of fabric are divided horizontally and combined into a checkerboard pattern. It is popular for the Noh costumes.
Flowers of four seasons are designed in a checkerboard pattern.
Kata-susomoyo (kimono with patterns on shoulders and below waist)
It was popular in early Edo period, especially for kosode design. Nowadays, this pattern is often seen in the design of homongi kimono.
Japanese wisterias on the shoulders.
On the hem, a scene of pond side is designed. Please enjoy the view of the beautiful spring garden of Heian-jingu shrine on this kimono.
So-moyo (all the surface of the kimono is covered with patterns)
Sometimes, kimono are adorned with small-scale patterns, sometimes, large picturesque designs are arranged on the upper and lower parts of kimono.
This kimono is decorated with the representation of 12 Chinese zodiac signs scattered all over its surface. Can you find all the 12?
On the right inner side of the hem you can find a touch of humour from the dye artisan -- a cat who was late for the gathering of the other 12 animals and therefore wasn’t included in their zodiac circle.
In the late Edo period, kosode with patterns concentrated at the center of the hem became popular. Sometimes, patterns are placed on the inner side of the hem as well. Nowadays, Edo-tsuma-moyo designates susomoyo or kurotomesode kimono.
You can find one of the most famous temple in Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera, covered with cherry blossoms on the back.
The pattern used in Shimabara-tsuma extends up further than this of Edo-tsuma, covering the upper front of the garment and reaching the lower neckband. It was named after the place it was created -- Shimabara (courtesans' district in Kyoto).
Each butterfly-like pattern contains one family crest.
Susomoyo pattern appears only on the hem of kimono. It appeared in the middle of Edo period and is beautifully balanced with a full-wide obi sash. These days, the pattern is frequently used to decorate not only formal tomesode kimono, but also fashionable homongi kimono.
Many snow crystals are on the hem. The monotone kimono is also cool.
Gakubuchi pattern (literally, “picture frame”)
Gakubuchi pattern in the shape of letter L runs along the border of the hem and ends on the lower part of kimono. The pattern (occasionally placed on the shoulder as well) is emphasized by a plain single-colour background. It is widely used in contemporary homongi kimono design.
You can find the shape of letter L with autumn flowers.