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Tabane Noshi

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Motif Information
Kamon noshi 02.gif
Rōmaji Tabane Noshi
English Abalone Bundle
Kanji 束ね熨斗, 熨斗
Kana たばねのし
Season All-Season
Seasonal Exceptions None
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Religious Motif

Tabane noshi are bundles of abalone used as religious offerings. Noshi literally means a present.[1] Tabane noshi are attached to the wrapping of expensive or auspicious occasion gifts to announce that the item inside is a gift. For this reason tabane noshi remain a popular motif on wrapping paper and furoshiki.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Tabane noshi has no season in of itself. The strips of noshi usually contain other motifs, both geometric and floral. The motifs used are often also auspicious motifs like kiku or tsuru.

Auspicious Nature

Tabane noshi were originally bundles of abalone used as religious offerings. Nowadays, paper representations of them are used as decorations during festivals or attached to gifts. Due to these associations tabane noshi is an auspicious motif.

Noshi also sounds like the Japanese word for '"expand" or "progress"... [and so] came to be an auspicious symbol of the continuation of the family line.'[2] Tabane noshi are a common motif in semori, "back protectors," charms embroidered onto the back of children's garments that lack a center seam to repel evil influences. [3]

Identification & Style Variations

Tabane noshi is rarely seen in a realistic form. It is usually stylised into a bunch of long paper-like strips in many colours and often with smaller patterns inside, which is customary for auspicious items.

The current stylized version of tabane noshi with a both ends free and a band in the center came into fashion in the Keichō Era (1596-1615) of the Edo Period.[4] Since then the main variations have been in size and placement of motifs within the outline created by the motif.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

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


  1. Allen, Jeanne. Designer's Guide to Japanese Patterns. Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishing. 1984. p.129.
  2. Four Centuries of Fashion: Classical Kimono from the Kyoto National Museum. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. 1997. p.122.
  3. Marshall, John. Make Your Own Japanese Clothes. Kodansha International. 1988. p.18.
  4. Allen, Jeanne. Designer's Guide to Japanese Patterns. Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishing. 1984. p.106.

Image Credits

  • Ainokimono
  • Fuyou
  • SnowFoxCreations

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: tzippurah (IG Username)