Hokusai’s Kimono Design Book -Shingata Komoncho-

February 14, 2020 Juju Kurihara Arts, Craft, illustration Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Do you know Hokusai? If you don’t, you probably have seen this image.



Hokusai (1760-1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyoe painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He is most known for his woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景/Fugaku Sanjuroku-kei, c.1831) but he was simply a great artist when it comes to art. 


Hokusai published a small booklet called “Shingata Komoncho”, New Pattern of Komon Book in 1825. Komon (小紋) is one of the patterns for kimono and usually the same pattern is repeated to the same direction and all over the kimono. Komon kimono is perfect for a daily use to semi-formal occasions. 


There are more than 100 new geometric patterns in the book. “…I had never seen such patterns in the history” is what is written in the foreword of the book. Hokusai was already 60 something. His creativity didn’t seem to decline ever! 



Shingata Komoncho is a publication printed with woodblocks and explains how to copy the designs using a ruler and bunmawashi (compass) when there was no copy machines. 


Here are some patterns from the book. 

[caption id="attachment_9230" align="aligncenter" width="600"]https://mag.japaaan.com/shingatakomoncho
[caption id="attachment_9228" align="aligncenter" width="600"]https://mag.japaaan.com/archives/113368?fbclid=IwAR33BVIFjRXK1CJAPejeGWOarH6LTIiE26sOYC2r22qqyR5nlUVvX65jFD8

The woodblocks created for the first edition of the book was still used in Meiji period to reprint and Hokusai’s patterns are recognised as Hokusai Moyo (Hokusai’s pattern). Here are the some examples. Simple but beautiful, aren’t they?


[caption id="attachment_9233" align="aligncenter" width="500"]https://www.yamamoto-gofukuten.com/blog/event/12496/

If you like to see more of Hokusai’s work, visit Sumida Hokusai Museumhttps://hokusai-museum.jp/


Opening hours: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm (Entrance gate closes 30 minutes before the closing time)

Closing days: Mondays (on the following day if it falls on a national holiday or a compensatory holiday), year-end holidays (Dec. 29 – January 1) The museum may close on a temporary basis besides the dates above.

Admission fee: 

1. Adults: 400 yen (Group fee: 320 yen)

2. High school, university, and vocational school students and seniors (age 65 and above): 300 yen (Group Fee: 240 yen/person)


<iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d3240.214805635836!2d139.7982199511321!3d35.696331280093595!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x60188933b7d31881%3A0x7a02011fb48182aa!2sThe%20Sumida%20Hokusai%20Museum!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sde!4v1581581582983!5m2!1sen!2sde" width="600" height="450" frameborder="0" style="border:0;" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>




Japan Magazine: https://mag.japaaan.com/archives/113368?fbclid=IwAR33BVIFjRXK1CJAPejeGWOarH6LTIiE26sOYC2r22qqyR5nlUVvX65jFD8

Kimono fun : http://kimono-fun.com/saga_hokusaikomon/

Yamamoto Gofukuten : https://www.yamamoto-gofukuten.com/blog/event/12496/

Hokusai Moyou : https://ameblo.jp/kimono-asaya/entry-11932132038.html

Hokusai New Komoncho : https://mag.japaaan.com/shingatakomoncho

Hokusai New Komoncho : http://japla.sakura.ne.jp/workshop/symposium/2012/hokusai.pdf




Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *