Ichimatsu can refer to either a checkerboard pattern or a plaid.
Ichimatsu has used since ancient times as a design motif in Japan. In the Heian period, a form of it known as ishidatami-mon (石畳文, paving stone motif) was particularly popular.  Ishidatami-mon is a form of small scale ichimatsu composed of alternating groupings of four smaller squares in two colors. A simple small scale checkerboard pattern during this same period was known as arare (霰, hail). Examples of of both of these variations are preserved in Shōsōin.
Ichimatsu Sanogawa, an Osakan actor, is credited with bringing ichimatsu into fashion among the urban middle class in 1741.  Ichimatsu remains popular in the theatre and can be found rendered with metallic threads on odori obi.
Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
As this is a geometric motif, it has no specific seasonal use.
Motif in Literature & Other Usage
Relevant Threads / Discussions
- Ishidatami-mon at JAANUS
- Noma, Seiroku. Japanese Costume and Textile Arts. Weatherhill/Heibonsha. New York. Fourth printing, 1980. p.40.
Authors & Contributors
Author/s: tzippurah (IG Username)