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Revision as of 17:40, 18 January 2014 by Tzippurah (talk | contribs) (Image Credits)

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Motif Information
Motif iroko 01.png
Rōmaji Uroko
English Fish scale
Kana うろこ
Season All-Season
Seasonal Exceptions None
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Geometric

Uroko is a pattern of interlocking light and dark equilateral triangles which represents scales. These scales can be interpreted to belong to a fish, snake, or dragon. When uroko is broken up by using varying sized negative space equilateral triangles it is known as 'parent and child' uroko.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Like most geometric motifs, uroko is all season. Other motifs may be superimposed upon uroko and it takes its season from them.

Auspicious Nature

Uroko is a protective charm against misfortune similar to same komon. The toughness of the scales is supposed to protect against bad luck.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Uroko kamon
"An important symbol in theater, the design usually denotes a bewitching woman or a combative man. In the play Dōjōji, the main character sheds one kimono decorated with cherry blossoms to reveal her evil nature, as symbolized by the scales decorating a second kimono." [1] In this case uroko is interpreted as the scales of a snake rather than the protective scales of a dragon.

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions


  1. Allen, Jeanne. Designer's Guide to Japanese Patterns. Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishing. 1984. p.81.

Image Credits

  • Naomi Graham Hormozi (Immortal Geisha)
  • Muhvi
  • Sarcasm-hime
  • Tzippurah

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: tzippurah (IG Username)