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Motif Information
Motif kaede 01.jpg
Young kaede leaves in spring
Rōmaji Kaede, Momiji
English Maple
Kanji 楓, 紅葉
Kana かえで
Season Various
Seasonal Exceptions see below for specific details
Auspicious No
Motif Type Plant

Kaede are Japanese maple leaves (Acer palmatum). Another closely associated motif is momiji which refers specifically to maple leaves that have turned color (usually red, but also sometimes yellow or orange).

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Example of kaede kamon

Momiji are associated with autumn, but green kaede can be associated with spring or other seasons based on other motifs present.

Common Motif Pairings

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Momiji-gari (紅葉狩, maple hunting) in the fall is a similar activity to "leaf peeping" in the United States. There are several plays with the name Momiji-gari, both Noh and kabuki. The general plot is a samurai encounters a beautiful woman who is viewing the maple leaves. She plies him with sake and he falls asleep. When he wakes he discovers the beautiful woman is in fact a hannya, a she-demon. In some versions of the play, the hero then kills the hannya. In others, he is overcome. [2]

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions


  1. Motoji Niwa. Snow, Wave, Pine: Traditional Patterns in Japanese Design. Kodansha International. New York. 2001. p.84.
  2. [1]

Image Credits

Authors & Contributors


Contributors: n/a