What are traditional Japanese patterns?
In Japan, there are many traditional patterns that have been familiar since ancient times and have been used on various items such as clothing and furnishings.
Originally influenced by Chinese culture from the Asuka period to the Nara period, Japan's own interpretations and designs eventually emerged, creating a rich variety.
Patterns depicting familiar plants and animals, as well as motifs considered auspicious, include wishes for health and prosperity.
Objects decorated with such patterns must have brought peace of mind and pleasure to people's daily lives in the past.
We will gradually introduce traditional Japanese patterns that have never faded away and continue to color our daily lives.
The first article is about "turtle shell patterns".
What kind of pattern is Turtle shell pattern? Why is it auspicious?
Turtle shell pattern is a pattern derived from the shape of a turtle shell.
As you can see from the photo, there is a series of hexagons in the middle of the turtle shell, from the head to the tail.
The actual turtle shell has a hexagonal shape full of individuality depending on the species and individual, but the turtle shell pattern is a regular hexagonal shape.
There are many variations of the turtle shell pattern. There are also many family crests with the turtle shell pattern.
This turtle shell pattern has long been a symbol of longevity and health. This is because turtles grow slowly and live long lives.
The average turtle lifespan is 15 to 30 years for small turtles kept as pets, 30 to 50 years for sea turtles, and 50 to 80 years for tortoises. However, there are individuals that live more than twice as long. Some turtles live much longer than people.
The hard shell and stable hexagonal shape seem to have created an image of self-protection and robustness.
The desire for longevity and good health through auspicious objects has not changed in the past.
Handicrafts designed with a turtle shell pattern
This pattern is often used in traditional Japanese crafts. For your reference, here are some of the pieces we carry at Takumi Japan.
Coffee bowl plate, cherry blossom pattern, green polka dots, hand-painted" Yoshihiro Yamaguchi Kutani ware
The entire surface of this iron kettle is decorated with a tortle shell design. When enlarged, the design appears to be that of a "Turtle shell plum bowl". This was used by the Hiratsuka clan, who were vassals of the Toyotomi family.
How about a gift for grandparents or parents to wish long life?
In Japan, it is customary to celebrate longevity at the ages of 60 (Kanreki), 70 (Koki), 77 (Kiju), 80 (Sanju), 88 (Beiju), 90 (Sotsuju), 99 (Hakuju), and 100 (Hyakuju).
Outside of Japan, there are also customs that celebrate longevity.
Why not send your grandparents or parents a turtle-shell design handicraft to celebrate their milestone with wishes for longevity and good health?