After the long lasting “SENGOKU-JIDAI” (Warring States period)peaceful years of EDO era (1603-1868) generated a wide variety of work of art.

MOYO Part2


The culture of KIMONO was also flourished where the original form of modern KIMONOs called “KOSODE” was created making the patterns of KIMONOs further sophisticated.

Although the design of KIOMONO is usually based on “KA-CHŌ-FŪ-GETSU” as mentioned in a past article, in order to realize a pattern or design of KIMONO which can attract more people, unique and yet unknown motifs were invented during this period.

For example, the things used only in the court life during HEIAN period, such as a screen, folding fan, carriage and bind were used as motifs of KIMONO design because they were something that general public were longing for but couldn’t even catch a glimpse of it.



This is the reason why “GOSHODOKI GARA”, the patterns which use court furnishings or tools, were paid attention to by the people at that time. The “KISSHŌ MOYŌ” mentioned here is also one of them.



Besides such court tools, “ŌMI-HAKKEI”, The Eight Views of ŌMI (ancient SHIGA prefecture) became also popular because it was not easy for people to travel far from one’s home in the days without such convenient means of transportation as trains or cars.


During the early EDO period between late 17th and early 18th century, the cultural center was in KAMIGATA (KYOTO and OSAKA area) where “RINPA school“, “JŌRURI” music or new type of work of literature prospered mainly by CHŌNIN (towns people). This is called “GENROKU” culture.

When this trend finally reached common people in EDO (TOKYO area) in the late EDO period, respecting the ongoing social class system, the TOKUGAWA Shogunate issued “SHASHI-KINSHI-REI”, sumptuary laws which are a series of laws, ordinances, and orders that ban luxury and promote or force thrift regardless of one’s class.

URAJIHowever some clever towns people in EDO were not amenable and began to focus on the lining of KIMONO by getting around the laws.
Looking chic and simple in outward appearances, they enjoyed beautiful design secretly decorated on the linings as an “invisible dress-up”.

“EDOKOMON” mentioned here was also invented in this time. This was also an idea to get around the rules as it looks plain fabric seeing from a distance.

A Japanese UKIYOE artist KYŌDEN SANTŌ expressed his witty world of art using this EDOKOMON method.



The motifs of EDOKOMON he contrived are shown in his design book titled “KOMON-GAWA” where you will be amazed by many motifs which are so funny and full of jokes.


roasted rice ball (upper-left), checked pattern with a man’s face (upper-right), broiled eels (lower-left) and sliced burdock (lower-right)

Even under such strict rules, people in EDO didn’t lose their playful spirits and enjoyed the fashion in a very loveable manner.