modified on 27 January 2013 at 20:43 ••• 2,413 views


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Motif Information
Motif Tonbo 01.jpg
Romaji Tonbo (tombo)
English Dragonfly, damselfly
Kanji 蜻蛉
Kana トンボ
Season Summer
Seasonal Exceptions Autumn
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Insect
Audio Coming Soon


Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Tonbo are associated with summer and are often found on yukata.

In Japanese poetry tonbo is often a code word for autumn. When paired with one of the seven autumn grasses or a full moon tonbo becomes an autumn motif.

Common Motif Pairings

Auspicious Nature

The sound tonbo make when they fly is "kachi kachi" which is a homophone in Japanese for victory (勝ち). An archaic way of saying tonbo was kachimushi (mushi means insect). Tonbo also always fly forward, never backward, so this motif was particularly popular among samurai.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

  • Link to any relevant threads on IG


Image Credits

Authors & Contributors

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