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Wagara - traditional Japanese pattern [continuously updating]


“Wagara“ 和柄 literally means "Japanese" (和 wa) "pattern" (柄 gara) and indicates ancient designs, each with a specific meaning, originally created for decorating traditional garments.


The majority comes from the Heian period (8th century), they are largely inspired by nature and were crafted using techniques from painting and Chinese calligraphy.


There are around ten ancient geometric design representing waves, circles, triangles, tortoise shells, lozenges...







But from a long time designers make new wagara by mixing old patterns with contemporary ones, adding for example seasonal flowers and animals.


In the traditional fashion industry, wagara was used only for kimono, but as younger generations shifted to westernized clothes the tradition risked to fade away.


Thanks to a collective effort and interest these beautiful design were brought back to fashion and nowadays they are widely used in homewares and accessories.




Patterns list


The following is the list of explanations I published. I will update this list every time I post a new related content :


(last update March 1st, 2023)

























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