Happi is one of the traditional Japanese festival costumes and popular among taiko players, too. It has unique traditional Japanese patterns on the back. Let's see the special meanings they have and incorporate the traditional Japanese taste into your style.
Are you interested in traditional Japanese shoes, too? See also this article.
[Traditional Japanese Pattern]
1. 束ね熨斗 Tabane Noshi
Noshi is a decoration attached to gifts to express "good wishes". Tabane Noshi is a lot of "noshi" tied up together and expresses people's "bond" and "connection". Because it's long, it also means a "long life". It's also popular as pattern of kimono robe.
2. 吉原つなぎ Yoshiwara Tsunagi
Yoshiwara Tsunagi is one of the popular patterns for happi coat and
expresses "good relationship" and "bond". It's named after the Yoshiwara, red-light district in Edo (old Tokyo). It's one of the typical patterns in Edo.
3. 巴 Tomoe
This pattern is also used in other countries. It expresses "spirit" and used for the symbol of shinto shrine, too. It's often drawn on the head of the taiko. Many professional taiko groups use taiko drawn tomoe on it.
It is a curly hair of Karajishi (Chinese Lion). It represents sun and expresses
5. 傘 Kasa
It's pattern of Japanese traditional umbrella.
6. 車 (御所車 / 源氏車) Kuruma (Goshoguruma / Genjiguruma)
Kuruma means an automobile in Japanese in the present era. But, it was an oxcart in the old era. Goshoguruma is a carriage for noble people and represents elegance used in Heian period. Genjiguruma is a pattern of a wheel. Wheel in the wave is called nami ni genjiguruma or katawaguruma. It is said that the wheel was made of wood and got in the river to prevent cracks.
7. 市松 Ichimatsu
Ichimatsu is a pattern of repeated alternating dark and light squares. It's named after a Kabuki actor, Ichimatsu Sanogawa, who often wears on the hakama with Ichimatsu pattern. It expresses "prosperity of descendants" and "business expansion" because it doesn't end both in vertical and horizontal directions.
8. 一の字繋ぎ（れんが）Ichinoji Tsunagi
It's a pattern of pile of bricks. Ichinoji means a character of "ichi (one)". This pattern is made of only a character of ichi (one).
9. 扇 Ougi
Ougi is one of the Japanese traditional fans and expresses "development" and "prosperity" because the shape becomes bigger to the end.
10. 纏 Matoi
Matoi is one of the banner-flag used by local fire fighters in Edo period.
11. 鱗 Uroko
Uroko is a scale of fish and snake. It is said that this pattern protects people from bad luck and evil spirits.
12. 龍 Ryu
Ryu is dragon in Japanese. It is one of the popular imaginary creatures in ancient China. It expresses "auspicious sign" and "power" in Japan.
13. 鳳凰 Houou
Houou is phoenix in Japanese. It is one of the popular imaginary creatures in ancient China. It is said that the houou appears when the world become peace. It expresses "peace".
14. 鯛 Tai
Tai is sea bream in Japanese. Due to a pun on the words tai (seabream) and medetai (auspicious), tai (sea bream) is served for the celebration event.
15. 鯉 Koi
Koi is carp in Japanese. It is know as fish of promotion. It derives from the Chinese legend that a carp climbed up waterfall became dragon.
16. 虎 Tora
Tora is tiger in Japanese. It is often compared to legendary dragon. It expressed "brave" and "power".
17. 鶴 Tsuru
Tsuru is crane in Japanese. It expresses "long-life" and "mate for life".
18. 鶴亀 Tsurukame
Tsuru is crane and kame is turtle in Japanese. It's said that crane lives a thousand year and turtle live ten thousand year. They express "long-life".
19. 蝶 Chou
Chou is butterfly in Japanese. It's used as the pattern because of the beautiful looks. So it changes the looks from caterpillar and pupa to butterfly, it expresses "immortal".
20. 唐獅子牡丹 Karajishi Botan
Karajishi botan means lions and peonies. A image of lions and peonies expresses "brave", "elegance" and "auspicious sign". It's said that brave lion only rest near elegant peonies.
21. 波 Nami
Nami means wave in Japanese. Wave lasts endlessly. It expresses "eternal happiness" and "peaceful life".
22. 波に千鳥 Nami ni Chidori
Nami ni chidori means birds flying over wave in Japanese. There are big wave and small wave. It's like people's life. That's why, it expresses "mate for life" and "safety of family".
23. 桜 Sakura
When it comes to flower, it's sakura, cherry blossom in Japan. It blooms beautiful pink flowers in Spring and is out of bloom soon.
24. 富士 Fujisan
Fujisan means Mt. Fuji in Japanese. When it comes to mountain, it's Mt. Fuji in Japan. It's not just the highest mountain in Japan but familiar among people as the spiritual mountain.
25. 祭 Matsuri
This character writes "Matsuri", which means "festival" in Japanese.
26. 祭禮 Sairei
Sairei is another word for "festival" in Japanese.
27. 大漁 Tairyo
Tairyo means "good catch" in Japanese. Japan is island and there are a lot of fisherman who hope to catch a lot of fishes.
28. 睦 Boku
This character writes "Boku / Mutsumi". It's not often used in daily conversion but means "friendship" in Japanese.
29. 豊年 Honen
Honen means "good harvest" in Japanese. People pray good harvest and appreciate gods for it in the festival.
30. おかめ＆ひょっとこ Okame and Hyottoko
Okame and Hyottoko are popular Japanese funny face. They play a role of clown and entertain people.
31. 隈取 Kumadori
Kumadori is a typical make-up for actor in kabuki, a traditional Japanese performing arts. To emphasize the character, muscles and blood vessels are painted.
Are you interested in personalizing? See also this article.
Learn popular clothing for Matsuri, Japanese festival. See also this article.
Do you know How to wear? See also this article.
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