The scale pattern, in KIMONO world, is called “UROKO-GARA” formed by combination of several triangles.
This is also considered as a pattern against evil influence and also used as a pattern of EDO-KOMON or design for family crests.
I have an episode to share with you concerning this scale pattern.
I have a friend who I regard as my teacher of the ancient history. He is a researcher of Japanese ancient books like “KOJIKI” (the oldest extant chronicle in Japan) and needless to say, very familiar with Shinto.
It was the summer in 2015, he dropped by my shop during his work.
After talking to me about Japanese mythology as usual, suddenly he spoke about a book titled “KAMISAMA-NO-OHANASHI (literally “The tale of God”)
He said, “The book may be already sold out as it was released around October 2014, but it is an interesting book indeed.”
After he left, I checked the online book store he mentioned, which indicated that this book was currently sold out, as he told me, and would arrive in December.
So, I reserved the book and checked other pages in the website to know if there would be something interesting.
When I returned to the reservation page of the book, however, it was indicating that the book has arrived!
I felt as if I got bewitched by a fox, but anyway I bought the book and received it shorty.
The book is in B5 paper size and conversations between famous professors and experts in Shintoism are written.
At a glance, it looked very profound, so I just riffled through the pages and then a specific page cached my eyes, which reads something like:
Mr. Kanai: This mark is considered as a badge to classify the roots of gods. Kuniyoshi-san gets always so excited when she finds the scale pattern by triangles as it is a mark of the god called BENZAI-TEN. She said even at the age of 60 today, cannot forget the sensation, a deep happiness that she got when she wore a KIMONO with red scale patterns in her childhood.
Ms. Kuniyoshi: It really is. And whatsmore, whenever I have something with scale pattern with me, something good happens.
Mr. Kanai: The base idea of saying that KIMONO is a life for women is coming from a KIMONO with patterns of God’s mark. So if I were a KIMONO shop staff, I would recommend the one with scale pattern to the client, so that she would buy it at any cost and would keep it with care for long time until she dies.
This made me wonder if I had a scale pattern KIMONO to offer my clients, but I had almost forgotten this topic being pressed by daily occupation until I received the box from my wholesaler a few weeks later.
For my KIMONO exhibition called “OBON Fair” (see here for OBON) which I am holding in mid-August at my shop every year, I received from my wholesaler some boxes which included tens of MOFUKU (Mourning KIMONO), IRO-MUJI (plain color KIMONO), OBIs and TANMONOs (rolls of fabric).
I opened these boxes one by one.
Then in one of the boxes, I found a reversible fabric woven by triple weaving method, with which I was so surprised because it had scale pattern in background, what a coincidence!
Thinking of a KIMONO with scale pattern, it is perceived as a bit too maniac as it doesn’t fit to everyone, but using the pattern in background, is indeed a good idea and I have never thought about it! (Later I asked my wholesaler and he said he includes it always when IRO-MUJI is ordered, but I had never been aware of it till then!)
During the OBON Fair, this product was very popular. Without any sales talks or explanation, my clients were attracted to it and gazing at it!
They all said that they felt some pulling-power from this product which looked just a plain fabric at a glance though.
I explained the secret of the scale pattern then they understood and bought it one after another.
It was an event that I cannot help but thinking so-called the Low of attraction!
The picture on the right is an unlined IRO-MUJI produced by the reversible fabric with scale patterns.
When you look at it closely, you can see slightly the scale pattern on the background.