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Motif Information
Rōmaji Chōji
English Clove
Kanji 丁子
Kana ちょうじ, クローブ
Season all-seasonal
Seasonal Exceptions none
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Plant, Auspicious

Chōji (clove) is one of the takarazukushi.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Chōji are an auspicious design and are therefore non-seasonal. However, they are often featured on kimono that are to be worn in times in which one would want good luck, such as weddings, children's kimono for Omiyamairi and Shichi-go-san, and new years.

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Clove was introduced to Japan in the Heian Period from the South Seas, from which time it has been used as medicine, spice, and dye. Chōji symbolizes matrimonial happiness, good health, and longevity.

Auspicious Nature

Chōji is worn in hopes of bringing about that which it symbolizes.

Common Motif Pairings

Identification & Style Variations

Chōji is portrayed in various ways. The most common of these is a curved, pointed horn-like shape, wide end of which is diamond in shape with two perpendicular line connected the points, and surrounded with three circles. Others may have the same horn-like base shape with a rounded-off wide end with scalloping around it. It is often depicted as two of these horns crossed.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Chōji were found in the ancient Shosoin storehouse in Nara, which was established in the eighth century to store imperial treasures. [1]

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

  • Link to any relevant threads on IG


  1. Traditional Japanese Patterns and Motifs. PIE International. 2013. p. 14.

Image Credits

  • Please credit any image used with the exception of images from Immortal Geisha or Moonblossom's photo gallery or anyone else who stated they don't need crediting.

Authors & Contributors

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