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Motif Information
Rōmaji Itomaki
English Bobbin, spool of thread
Kanji 糸巻き
Kana いとまき
Season Spring
Seasonal Exceptions New Year's, Tanabata
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Man-made

Itomaki were bobbins used for winding thread on a reel called a zakuri. The relatively open shape of itomaki compared to western spools was to allow air to pass around the sticky silk thread which would be later slipped off the bobbin and boiled to degum it.

Itomaki were common household objects from the Edo to early Showa period. Itomaki stopped being produced as sericulture became increasingly industrialized.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Silk cultivation (1866) by Utagawa Fusatane

Itomaki is a spring motif.[1]

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Stuff about what it symbolises, what it'sassociated with, etc.

Auspicious Nature

Is motif auspicious? If so - explain. If not - remove header.

Common Motif Pairings

Identification & Style Variations

Describe how the pattern can be identified. If applicable, explain how the pattern is conventionally simplified.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Bando Mitsugoro as a thread vendor, note the itomaki motif on his kimono (c.1800) by Utagawa Toyokuni

Where possible - try to find examples of motif in literature, art and real life. If you are unable to find an example - remove this section.

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

  • Link to any relevant threads on IG


  1. Nitanai, Keiko. Kimono Design: An Introduction to Textiles and Patterns. Tuttle Publishing, Vermont. 2017. p.54.

Image Credits

  • Fabric Magpie

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: (# (IG Username))