Page 1

Kata-gamk Japanese

"in the Collection of

Stencils

\he Cooper-Hewitt

Museum

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The Smithsonian Institution's National

Museum

of Design


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Kata-gami: Japanese Stencils

in the Collection of

the Cooper-Hewitt

Museum

m

m

The Smithsonian National

Institution's

Museum

of

Design


VLHOS cH/v/\

©

1979 by the Smithsonian Institution

All rights reserved

Library of Congress Catalogue No. 79-87725


Foreword

The

collecting of Japanese sten-

cils

used in the process of dyeing

fabrics

is

end

is

final

one of those rare excep-

which the means

tions in

treasured as

much

to the as the

product. In most cases

also, the stencils are the

only

surviving documents; the fabrics

have disappeared with

everyday use.

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum

is

fortunate in having an extensive collection of over (stencils)

400 kata-gami

ranging from purely

geometric forms to graceful compositions based on nature.

They show the Japanese genius for pattern,

and are exciting

to

contemporary eyes because of their craftsmanship

and

ele-

gance, and the strength and timelessness of the designs.

It is

a pleasure for the

Museum

to publish this catalogue to

coincide with a nation-wide festival

honoring the extraordi-

nary cultural contributions of

Japan.

Its

publication was

made

possible through the interest

and kindness of Karen Johnson

Keland

to

whom we

are deeply

thankful.

Lisa Taylor

Director

Cooper-Hewitt

Museum


Foreword

The cils

collecting of Japanese sten-

used

fabrics

tions in

end

is

final

in

is

the process of dyeing

one of those fate excep-

which the means

treasured as

much

to the as the

ptoduct. In most cases

also, the stencils ate the

only

surviving documents; the fabrics

have disappeared with

everyday use.

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum

is

fortunate in having an extensive collection of over (stencils)

400 kata-gami

ranging from purely

geometric forms to gtaceful compositions based on natute.

They show the Japanese genius for pattern,

and are exciting

to

contempotaty eyes because of their craftsmanship

and

ele-

gance, and the strength and timelessness of the designs.

It is

a pleasure for the

Museum

to publish this catalogue to

coincide with a nation-wide festival

Š 1979

by the Smithsonian Institution

Japan.

All tights teserved

Libtaty of Congtcss Catalogue

honoring the extraordi-

nary cultural contributions of Its

publication was

made

possible through the interest

No. 79-87725

and kindness of Katen Johnson Keland

to

whom we

ate deeply

thankful.

Lisa Taylot

Director

Cooper-Hewitt

Museum


Kata-gami for the

is

the Japanese term

paper stencils that are

used to transfer patterns to fabric for

m

dyeing.

The technique,

one of the oldest in Japan,

center of stencil cutting in

dealers'

is

because tradi-

power

and methods

who

were repeated through the cenit

appears that most

who had

in

Japan until 1867. The

dealers were permitted

Tokugawa

of those preserved in the

1615 and

held the reins of govern-

ment

traditional motifs of the

hereditary crests (mon) of

ity

undoubtedly

arises

coincidence of their

from the

common

source in the Japanese vocab-

risen to

in this area in

The

stencils relate closely to the

Japanese families. The similar-

stencil

commercial interests

shoguns,

tional patterns

but

The

were protected by the Tokugawa

dating of the sten-

cils is difficult

turies,

city of

Suzuka, in Mie Prefecture near the Bay of Ise.

practiced today on a limited scale. Precise

The

Japan has always been the

by the

rulers to^.ell stencils

ulary of symbolic forms. Crests

became an almost

essential part

of the costumes of all classes in the nineteenth century; by extension,

it

was appropriate that

Cooper-Hewitt collections date

freely

from the nineteenth or early

an important consideration as

referred to these meaningful

twentieth century. Although

there was no dyeing industry in

and basic design motifs.

only a few Japanese craftsmen

Suzuka (Kyoto and Tokyo were

remain who have the

skill to

cut

throughout the country,

the centers for dyeworks). In

and refined

as

order to maintain their

the historical examples, there

is

oly,

stencils as elegant

currently a artisans to

movement keep the

to train

craft alive at

a highly sophisticated level.

monop-

Suzuka dealers encouraged

patterns used on clothing fabric

The paper used kata-gami

is

for

made

making

of fibers from

the bark of the mulberry tree.

the cutters to be secretive about

The intended design

methods and designs, which

mines the choice of the weight

deter-

— a very fine pattern

were handed down from genera-

of paper

tion to generation.

calls for a

thin sheet, but for a

bold stripe or large design a

The remarkably

varied designs

heavy sheet

is

preferred.

The

include free interpretations of

paper must be strong enough to

nature, patterns derived from

resist

objects in daily tifs

life,

and mo-

normally about 9 by 16 inches

based on centuries-old

formulas.

Some

expansion or contraction

during use. Stencil papers are

motifs have

(19 by 35 centimeters), a size

undergone so radical a trans-

dictated by the standard width

formation from reality that the

of the fabric. As patterns tended

abstracted and simplified form

to be larger in the late nine-

bears little relation to actual ap-

teenth and early twentieth cen-

pearance. For example, the tortoise,

symbol of longevity,

is

reduced to a hexagonal outline for a fabric pattern.

bolism

is

The sym-

understood in Japan

and enters into the wearer's choice of fabric design.

turies, the stencil papers be-

came proportionately Examples of several lustrated here.

larger.

sizes are

il-


Ordinarily at least seven or

The blade used

with the juice of just-ripened

eight sheets of paper, placed on

narrow, thin, and

persimmons

a board, are cut at one time,

angled edge. The cutter pushes

each sheet being oiled slightly

it

The paper

sheets are treated

that has been aged

make

sufficiently to

it

viscous.

The use

of the astringent per-

to facilitate the

simmon

an ingenious

the knife blade.

juice

is

making the paper

movement of The cutting

begins at the upper

for tsuki-bori is

with an

flat

forward, the cutting edge di-

rected away from him. This cut-

ting

is

done on

a board

with

a

When

the design

is

such that

large areas

must be cut away,

the stencil

is

strengthened by

peeling apart two of the layers that have been almost

com-

pletely cut and inserting a

mesh

small hole near the center, the

of thin silk threads between

stronger and water resistant.

Obviously, particular attention

cutter manipulates the sheets

them

The

must be given

over the hole to facilitate the

legendary).

method

for

sheets are then layered in

left

corner.

to the perimeter

(the use of

human

The two

hair

is

layers are

groups of two or three, with the

because the perfect matching of

piercing of all layers of paper in

then stuck together again and

layers placed at right angles to

the repeat depends upon precise

one movement.

the remainder of the cutting

each other as in plywood, and

cutting of these areas. Fre-

held together by the sticky per-

quently the pattern repeats in

In hiki-bori, a similar blade

simmon

both directions.

used, but the knife

juice.

hung from closed

Next they

are

toward the

the ceiling of a

room

for several

days and

smoked with burning sawdust to harden the ing.

persimmon

coat-

The paper emerges from

this process slightly stiff still

carefully finished without dis-

pliable.

but

The

stencils are cut

with knives

of various sizes and shapes that

have different functions.

One

iskiri-bori,

minute holes with

motion. The

tool, a type of awl

with a very

is

thumb and hand

left

fingers of the right

direct the position of the

blade.

It is

making

possible with this

stencil

seen

up

fully.

to the light can

it

be

and delicate design

so fine that

it

leaves

tool used for ichimai-zuki

The

is

no mark on net

is ef-

keeping stripes in

alignment and

in securing

mi-

consists of a small, thin, rect-

nute parts of the design during

angular steel plate with a sharp-

the stenciling process.

set vertically into a

The cutting

handle.

is

done by

The

vary in

shape— straight,

curved, or fluted.

motif is doubled, tool

is

blades

Where a

the

twin-bladed

sometimes used.

technique to create a design so subtle that only by holding the

fragile

sustained by the net, which

the dyed fabric.

the stack of paper.

hand. The

most is

pushing the blade down into

held upright and

turned with the

turbing the net. Thus, even the

fective in

ened edge,

small, sharp, semi-circular blade,

for

the

striped patterns.

The

by which

are patiently cut

a rotating

is

of

the oldest and most refined

techniques

method employed

drawn

is

cutter. It

is

Dogu-bori employs a blade

forged in the shape of a pattern, for instance, a triangle, a

square, a flower petal, or a

The cut

is

made by

leaf.

thrusting

(punching) the knife. While the tool

is

very efficient,

it

curtails

variations in the pattern.


Complex designs two

often call for

stencils, for if the perfora-

Other methods

more

are used to

add

colors or to amplify the

Whatever the method used, the

Stencil dyeing

came

ingenuity of the designer in

inence because

it

into

prom-

could be

tions are too close together, the

basic design after the initial pat-

contriving the pattern in such a

adapted to large-scale produc-

intermediate spaces cannot sus-

tern has been stenciled onto the

way

tion of an

components

fit

to-

enormous variety of

gether precisely edge to edge

patterns on cotton fabrics for

large areas, thickened dyes are

without detracting from the

clothing and household items

secondary one for the remainder

brushed on through additional

beautiful, over-all effect,

of the pattern. Usually the de-

stencils.

tain the cut areas. In this case

there

sign

is

is

a

main

stencil

and a

transmitted to only one

side of the fabric, except for un-

kimono

lined cotton

mer

sum-

for

wear where the pattern will

be seen on both

demanded stencils

sides.

The

care

in registering the

on top of as well

to each other

is

as next

extremely great.

fabric

with the

that the

resist paste.

For

Smaller elements of the

bines with the

skill

who

that the design flows without

demand

the fabric in selected places not

interruption throughout the

clined.

previously covered. (This

length of the fabric.

in public collections like that of

variation of theyuzen

is

a

method of

applying the design to the fabric.

Yuzen

is

a completely free-

hand process

in

manipulates the stencil so

which even the

applied by hand

preserving this fine tradition of

no, and there are

kimono

fabric to act as a guideline for

steamed to

the second stencil.

Dyeing with

stencils

large a resist process. cil is

is

by and

The

sten-

placed on the fabric, which

has been laid out, smoothed,

paste

is

A dye-resistant rice spread with a

bamboo or

wooden spatula over the The

stencil.

paste penetrates through

the openings to the fabric and blocks out the areas that are not to be dyed. lifted

The

stencil

and moved

is

then

to the adjacent

portion of the fabric, and the process repeated over and over.

When

the resist

washed away

is

been dip-

after the fabric has

ped into the dye, the pattern emerges

in

white against a col-

ored background.

The dark

areas of the stencil are dark in

the finished fabric.

set the color,

after that, the resist is

away

as usual.

With

is

and

washed

this

consid-

craftsmanship.

meth-

od, several colors can be applied and set with one steaming.

fabric.

people age, the

and color of For instance, as

it is

expected that

number and brightness

colors

and the

in their crease.

of

size of the pattern

kimono should

de-

The time of day and the

season determine the selection

of a design; one would not, for

and straightened on long boards.

pleted on the fabric, the cloth

many

erations besides taste that dic-

com-

Museum

frequently been used for kimo-

Once

the design has been

survival of stencils

helps to stimulate interest in

tate the pattern

onto the

for these fabrics has de-

The

the Cooper-Hewitt

rather than through a stencil.)

stencil

western clothing in Japan, the

Stencil-dyed fabrics have most

a pigment (not a dye)

through the

Wth

the increasing popularity of

the thickened dye directly onto

resist paste is

brushed

used by ordinary people.

design are hand-painted with

To aid in achieving registration, is

com-

of the dyer

instance, wear a

kimono with

a

dragonfly motif in the winter.

The narrow width of the and the unchanging cut of the

kimono

fabric

style

also

and

impose

limitations on the designer.

Elaine Evans

Dee


Sparrows 20. 8 x 35 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-14

None

of rhe sparrows in the

stencil

is

exactly like another,

nor do any relate to each other in precisely the

same

attitude.

As

explained in a Japanese folk tale,

The Sparrow with

Tongue, this

the

Cut

modest bird exem-

plifies the virtue of

repaying

one's obligations, a quality

highly respected in Japan.

Dragonflies 19.

1

x 35 cm.

Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-1

As two of the dragonfly's

several

Japanese names mean "victory insect," warriors often it

as a crest motif.

ever, this

adopted

Now, how-

design might be con-

sidered appropriate for a child's

kimono because chasing dragonflies

is

a favorite

amusement.

childhood


Heron, Lotus, Marsh Grasses, and Water 31.2 x 19.7 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-13

The

lotus

is

the foremost

Buddhist symbol

for enlight-

enment, supreme truth, and purity emerging from impurity,

but this stencil its

is

so painterly in

approach and so naturalistic

in its

composition that any

thought of symbolism seems very remote. Since there

is

no

provision for a repeat here, this stencil

seems to have been made

as a picture

Rabbit Medallions and Vines 19 x 34.7 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-15

The white

rabbit

cious symbol spirit of the

is

an auspi-

embodying the

moon, and

sociated with

is

the tortoise

as-

and

the crane as a symbol of longevity.

complete in

itself.


Dragons 35.7

in

Clouds

x77 cm.

Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-277

The dragon

is

a Chinese-in-

spired design particularly associated with is

Zen Buddhism.

It

one of the four auspicious

symbols together with the unicorn, phoenix, and tortoise.

Dragons were thought

to leap

through the heavens, controlling the thunder and

ing the rain.

summon-


Leafy Vine

18 x 35.4 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-65

The

variations of the scrolling

vine pattern are endless.

It is

similar to the western ara-

besque, and in

is

most often used

combination with other

forms.

Bracken and Hemlock Twigs

18.7x35 cm. Gift of Jules R. Breuchaud,

1962-229-2

The pairing of bracken and hemlock indicates early spring.

Not

unexpectedly, the ever-

green, along with the chrysan-

themum,

tortoise,

and crane,

was a symbol of longevity. Resistant to the

wind and

resilient

beneath the snow, the evergreen

was one of the "three companions of the deep cold," a traditional Chinese nomenclature

adopted by the Japanese. The

new shoot

of bracken that

pushes through the ground in spring of a

is

fist,

compared

to the

form

and hints of this

configuration are seen in the threadlike tracery of this stencil.


Autumn

Grasses,

Bush Clover,

and Butterflies 36.4 x 34.8 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-263

The

butterfly motif was often

used for heraldic crests. Warriors

seemed

to favor its elegant

shape and design and

its

carefree

connotation, perhaps in reaction to their daily lives.

Ml

1u t

'


Autumn

Leafy Vine

Grasses,

Bush Clover,

and Buttetflies 18 x 35.4 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

36.4 x 34.8 cm.

1976-103-65

Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-263

The

variations of the scrolling

vine pattern are endless.

The

It is

buttetfly motif was often

similar to the western ara-

used for heraldic

besque, and

riors

in

is

most often used

combination with other

seemed

crests.

shape and design and

forms.

War-

to favor its elegant its

carefree

connotation, perhaps in reaction to their daily lives.

Bracken and Hemlock Twigs 18.7 x 35 cm. Gift of Jules R. Breuchaud,

1962-229-2

The

pairing of bracken and

hemlock

indicates early spring.

Not unexpectedly,

the ever-

green, along with the chrysan-

themum, was

a

tortoise,

and crane,

symbol of longevity. Re-

sistant to the

wind and

resilient

beneath the snow, the evergreen

was one of the "three companions of the deep cold," a traditional Chinese nomenclature

adopted by the Japanese. The

new shoot of bracken

that

pushes through the ground spting

of a

is

fist,

compared

to the

in

form

and hints of this

configuration are seen in the threadlike tracery of this stencil.


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glance this design seems

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simple and straightforward, but

when one becomes aware

of the

subtle balance and the extraor-

dinary refinement of the cutting, the ingenuity

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1976-103-264

At

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46.7 X35.5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

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Reed Brushes and Bamboo Leaves

19.3 x 34.9 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-101

These brushes, that are probably

made

of bamboo, are bound

with bands ornamented with family crests, one with the interlocking

comma (tomoe)

motif, and the others with the

melon (mokko) motif.

Bamboo

^ans VV^^jT

5^

/a

Leaves

19 x 36.3 cm.

^.^j^

^/ji

Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-62

Versatile, graceful,

and aus-

bamboo

picious, the

has played

an important role in Japan.

vV> \l*X*svfo

i

^y*^

It is

used in innumerable ways in daily

life

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from

fences to writ-

ing brushes. Because

^

it

keeps

leaves through the winter

its

it is

one of the "three companions of the deep cold" along with the

pine and the

plum blossom,

which appears

in the earliest

days of spring. Because of

endurance,

it is

its

associated with

the virtues of constancy, integrity,

royal

and honor. Because the phoenix was said to perch

only on the branches of the

paulownia

tree

seed of the

bamboo,

and eat only the

symbol of purity and

it is

also a

nobility.


Pine Needle Clusters 19.5 x 36.3 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-56

The

trails

designer's viewpoint of the

cluster has almost transformed it

into a flower.

pattern

is

The

all-over

remarkably delicate.

Because pine needles stay in pairs even after they have

dropped from the symbolize

fidelity.

tree, they

S^Ki^Bi^^wJ


Bamboo 21.4x35.3 Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-153

In contrast to the design of

bamboo

leaves, in

which

a

natural form was repeated and

overlapped to

make an

abstract

pattern, this stencil represents

growing bamboo

in

an almost

realistic fashion.

Pine Trees and Wisteria

37.8 x 76.5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-276

The long

fronds of wisteria blos-

soms lend themselves naturally to graceful signs.

and

intricate de-

The great vogue

for wis-

during the tenth

teria occurred

to twelfth centuries

when

the

Fujiwara clan was at the height of

its

wara

power

in

literally

wisteria."

Japan. Fuji-

means

"field of


Bamboo 21.4x35.3 Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-153 Pine Needle Clusters

In contrast to the design of

bamboo

19.5 x 36.3 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

wXl|3|

1976-103-56

The

designer's viewpoint of the

into a flower.

pattern

is

The

all-over

remarkably delicate.

Because pine needles stay

dropped from the fidelity.

tree,

IP Wmm^ ==j|

BlgS^lf

in

pairs even after they have

symbolize

overlapped to

^fe^^^i

cluster has almost transformed it

leaves, in

which

a

natural form was repeated

they

B WiS^fflm

wiii'T

111

i^c^^p

|H

H

IIM %

make an

and

abstract

pattern, this stencil represents

growing bamboo

in an almost

realistic fashion.

;

.

^a^^^^a^^ ('.

'

>

U\ x.ip' ~?-

ISliSlP

JKffli

\MMPine Trees and Wisteria

37.8 X76.5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-276

The long

fronds of wisteria blos-

soms lend themselves naturally to graceful

signs. teria

and

intricate de-

The great vogue

for wis-

occurred during the tenth

to twelfth centuries

when

the

Fujiwara clan was at the height of

its

wara

power

in

literally

wisteria."

Japan. Fuji-

means

"field of


Peonies

37-7 X77-5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-287

The peony plant. In

is

a native

China

it

Asian

was known

as

king of the flowers and symbolized wealth and honor. In

Japanese lore

high

as the

it

ranks almost as

chrysanthemum,

paulownia, and hollyhock.


1 T^^fllf

iiWwil fir 1

v&lW Vi lil I

i

H 111^^^ ^ ^11

[$^^ lllD^*^^\l^^

Iris

1

^

1

H

38.2 x 75.5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-290

Kfr llilllK ifllilv L2?rf

lw\i IliDk

w^oiT^^'F'^

'

'wkAlmA

H

In Japan the

Ml

11

1

ill

W

'

Vl

S/

honored

1

II

1 ÂŤ1

\w\ iLAcM LA

^v^mk

llll

III

5. It

was believed that the spring

i

fragrance of

would help

Hyj 1

in the iris festival

which takes place on May 1

i/3

has been cele-

from early times, and even now is

1

iris

brated in poetry and painting

spirits.

111'-

-VJ

ri

ixJy

|P81

iris

and mugwort

to drive

away

evil


Iris

38.2 x 75.5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-290

In

Japan the

iris

has been cele-

brated in poetry and painting

from early times, and even now is

honored

in the iris festival

which takes place on May

5. It

was believed that the spring fragrance of

would help spirits.

Peonies

37-7 "77-5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-287

The peony plant. In

is

a native Asian

China

it

was known

as

king of the flowers and symbolized wealth and honor. In

Japanese lore

high

as the

it

ranks almost as

chrysanthemum,

paulownia, and hollyhock.

iris

and mugwort

to drive

away

evil


Pine Trees and Rippling Water 19.2 x 34.2 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-98

With tions,

so

many

it is

desirable associa-

not surprising that

the pine tree was used as a motif for family crests

and

also in-

spired countless patterns for the

ornamentation of objects. The silhouette of an old pine tree has

been stylized to nearly unrecognizable form in this stencil.

?*

£

f

,* 1

Bush Clover and Sky

T

1

ii

lllll

20 x 35.3 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-64

Bush

clover

autumn

1

W

0\ *»

'

1111

llllllll

^ ^

Mi

/*'sm alllll

III IF

f

one of the seven

The

abstracted

cloud shapes indicate that the

•<

*5* il

4

is

plants.

IP «'*«*<* * Jill iill X IIWIIIII

vertical lines of the

background

represent rain, a familiar

cli-

matic condition of the autumnal season.


Grape Leaves and Clouds 46.5 x 35.2 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-267 Grapes are not associated with

wine

in Japan, but the plant

much admired

for its beauty.

is


Waves, Fishing Nets, and Pine

49.8 x 33.7 cm. Purchase, Norvin Hewitt

GteenGift, 1946-104-6

The dramatic impact of this stencil

is

intensified by the

enetgetic motion of the waves

and by the large areas of dark color (undoubtedly blue indigo) that final

would predominate product.

in the


Bridges and Bats on a Lattice

20.3 x 34.8 cm. Gift of Helen Snydet,

1976-103-12

Bats are considered an auspicious

omen,

in part because

elements of the

name can be

written with the ideograph

which means good fortune. Bats also

symbolize longevity.

Bracken Fronds and Water 19.5 x 35.7 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-61

The

reference to cooling water

and shade-loving plants

in this

graceful pattern suggests that

was intended

for

summer

it

wear.


Waves, Fishing Nets, and Pine Bridges and Bats on a Lattice

49.8 x 33.7 cm. Purchase, Norvin Hewitt

Green Gift, 1946-104-6

20.3 x 34.8 cm. Gift of Helen Snydet,

1976-103-12

The dramatic impact of this stencil

is

intensified by the

energetic motion of the waves

and by the large areas of dark color (undoubtedly blue indigo) that final

would predominate product.

in the

Bats are considered an auspicious

omen,

in part because

elements of the name can be written with the ideograph

which means good fortune. Bats also

symbolize longevity.

Bracken Fronds and Warer

19.5x35.7 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-61

The

reference to cooling water

and shade-loving plants

in this

graceful pattern suggests that

was intended

for

summer

it

wear.


Plank Bridge over an

Iris

Pond

18.7 x 34 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-97

The eight-plank bridge ing an

iris

pond

is

cross-

one of the

most poetic of traditional garden motifs. The planks allow one to

stroll silently

through

nature, observing the world

above and the world below the surface of the water.

Maple Leaves Reflected

in

Rippling Streams 19.6 x 36.5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

j^^^

1976-103-63

|^fc~~"ac^

Excursions

made

fs

^^

"^

for the pur-

pose of viewing natural objects of beauty are a tradition that

approaches a cult

among

Japanese. The autumn

viewing ceremony

is

the

foliage-

'^^frs^z?

one of

these perennial observances.

The ideograph

for

maple

is

made up of the elements for and wind, conjuring ful

tree

a delight-

auditory sensation of rus-

tling leaves.

The

delicate out-

lining of the leaves against

water in this stencil conveys the idea of the inevitability of nature; eventually the leaves will fall

and

float

downstream.

^^^^S


Waves and Skates on

a Lattice

50.5 X35.5 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-270

The

stylized froth of the waves'

curling edges recalls the

same

convention seen in prints by

Hokusai and Hiroshige. Warriors favored the

wave motif for

their crests because

bolized

The

power and

it

sym-

resilience.

liveliness of this

design and

the unusual choice of skates frolicking in the swirling

waves, with the lattice back-

ground holding

it all

together,

speak of an inventive and daring designer.

The open

areas sug-

gest that a secondary stencil

was used to embellish the design.


Arrow Feathers 46.7 x 34 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-289

The

literary phrase for military

life in

Japan was "the way of the

bow and

arrow. "

notch and

its

The

feathers

arrow's

worked

well for heraldic crests and they

appear frequently in stencils.


Umbrellas (Cart Wheels?),

^^-^^

Water, and Pine Needle ^

'"^7 uS

jgH ES^r! >

El3TZ^

OlS»J»^^^Bi«Si'

2e

Clusters

19.5

X35 cm.

Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-103

While

sSL^^es^

it

would not be

inconsis-

tent with the nature of umbrellas to

be associated with water,

the motif of wooden cart wheels in a stream in

is

not

uncommon

Japanese design. The wheels

were soaked periodically

in

order to prevent their drying out. In either case,

whether

wheels or umbrellas, the pattern shows

how

a

mundane,

utilitarian object can

be trans-

formed into a beautifully rhythmic design.

Umbrellas on

a Lattice

19.5 x 35.2 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-58

In this stencil the use of every-

day objects for a design motif

is

carried to its limit, but the

lighthearted

way

circular forms are

in

which the

tumbled onto

the grid creates an undeniably

pleasing pattern.


Umbrellas (Cart Wheels?), Water, and Pine Needle Clusters

19.5x35 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-103

Arrow Feathers 46.7 x 34 cm.

While

Gift of Helen Snyder,

it

would not be

inconsis-

tent with the nature of umbrel-

1976-103-289

las to

be associated with water,

the motif of wooden cart wheels

The

literary phrase for military

life in

in a stream

Japan was "the way of the

bow and

arrow.

notch and

its

"

The

feathers

is

not

uncommon

in Japanese design.

The wheels

arrow's

were soaked periodically

worked

order to prevent their drying

in

well for heraldic crests and they

out. In either case,

appear frequently in stencils.

wheels or umbrellas, the pattern

shows how

a

whether

mundane,

utilitarian object can be trans-

formed into

a beautifully

rhythmic design.

Umbrellas on

a Lattice

19.5 x 35.2 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-58

In this stencil the use of every-

day objects carried to

for a

its

lighthearted

design motif

is

limit, but the

way

circular forms are

in

which the

tumbled onto

the grid creates an undeniably

pleasing pattern.


Water Pattern 19 x 34.2 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-111

The

illusory effect of three di-

mensions and movement in

this

water pattern seems absolutely current.

f!^ยง?l^ยง+

+โ€ข

!^W4!^+


Geometric Pattern Imitating

Flame Stitch 19.4 x 35 cm. Gift of Helen. Snyder,

1976-103-1 10

The imitation

of flame stitch

is

only one imaginative aspect of this exceedingly lively,

undu-

lating, broken-stripe design.

The

illusion of surface activity

is

accomplished by varying the

width of the irregularly curving stripes.

Hemp Leaf and

Well-cover

Motifs

14 x 34.7 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-105

Hemp was one of the five

basic

crops of ancient China. In Japan it

provided thread, rope, and

and was used

to

make

pendants displayed

at

Shinto

cloth,

++ ++

shrines.

hemp

Here the six-pointed

leaves

pattern.

the

The

form

a

geometric

crossed double

bars resemble the

wooden

forcements of a well-cover.

reen-


Geometric Pattern Imitating

Flame Stitch 19.4 x 35 cm. Gift of Helen.Snyder,

1976-103-110

The imitation of flame

stitch

is

only one imaginative aspect of this exceedingly lively,

Water Pattern

undu-

lating, broken-stripe design.

19 x 34.2 cm.

The

Gift of Helen Snyder,

accomplished by varying the

1976-103-1

1

illusion of surface activity

width of the irregularly curving stripes.

The

illusory effect of three di-

mensions and movement

is

vvpur\ik

in this

water pattern seems absolutely current.

Hemp Leaf and

Well-cover

Motifs 14 x 34.7 cm. Gift of Helen Snyder,

1976-103-105

Hemp

was one of the

five basic

crops of ancient China. In Japan it

provided thread, rope, and

cloth,

and was used

to

make

the

pendants displayed at Shinto shrines.

hemp

Here the six-pointed

leaves

pattern.

The

form

a

geometric

crossed double

bars resemble the

wooden

forcements of a well-cover.

reen-


Bibliography

Dimensions given design area, that

are for the

is,

the full re-

Blakemore, Frances. Japanese Design through Textile Patterns.

peat. Stencils that repeat in only

New

"Vbrk

one direction are oriented

hill,

1978.

in

and Tokyo: Weather-

that direction in the reproduction.

Dower, John W. The Elements of Japanese Design:

Family

Crests,

bolism.

New

A

Handbook of

& Sym-

Heraldry

""fork

and Tokyo:

Weatherhill, 1978.

Mizoguchi, Saburo. Arts of

Japan

I:

Design Motifs.

New "Vbrk

and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1973. Stern, Harold Blossoms

Birds, Beasts,

P.

and Bugs.

New

"Vbrk:

Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1976.

Sugihara, Nobuhiko. Katagami: Stencil Papers for

Dyework

in

Japan. Kyoto: Kyoto National

Museum, 1968. "Vamanobe, Tomoyuki. Old Textile

Arts Transmitted in Japan.

Tokyo: Mainichi Shimbun,

1975-

Catalogue by Elaine Evans Dee

and Thomas

Design Lazin

S.

&

Michie

Katalan


and lo

Nan

-


SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION LIBRARIES

%^

3 9088

012855946

V-V*f

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