Japanese design motifs and their symbolism as used on itajime-dyed juban
Gunter, Susan Elizabeth
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Itajime is a little-known process of resist-dyeing that employs sets of wooden boards carved in mirror image of one another to clamp together a piece of folded fabric. Itajime was used extensively to decorate Japanese women’s underkimono (juban). The objectives of this research were to examine a sample of sixty- five itajime-dyed garments, to identify the motifs used to decorate the garments, to ascertain the symbolic meanings of the motifs, and to create a catalog of the sixty- five itajime-dyed garments. The motifs appearing on the itajime-dyed garments were most often botanical, although other motifs in the following categories were also present: animal/bird/insect motifs, water-related motifs, everyday object motifs, and geometric designs and abstract shapes.