Asanoha is a common and versatile motif. While named for the asa (hemp) plant, its origins are entirely geometric (comprised of six diamonds) and as such is considered a seasonless geometric design, popular for its visual presence. It is often used on komono, such as datejime, obi-ita, and obi-makura. It is also very frequently used as a background for more vivid patterns, and shows up in rinzu regularly.
Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
A geometric motif generally has no season of its own and thus can be worn throughout the year.
Also used as a kamon.
Asanoha can be combined with virtually any other motif, depending on seasonality, formality, etc. It can serve as either the primary element of the design, or a more subtle background element. The pattern itself does not lend much room for variation, so the differences will come from what it is paired with.
It was often used as a motif on items for babies, as "[p]arents hoped that infants wearing it would develop with the vigor and toughness of the hemp plant."
Asanoha weave on hanhaba obi
Motif in Literature & Other Usage
Relevant Threads / Discussions
- Kyusaburo, Kaiyama - The Book of Japanese Design
Authors & Contributors
Author/s: Diane Quintal (Moonblossom (IG Username))