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31 Best Japanese Patterns (Wagara) on Happi Coat

June 12, 2019

31 Best Japanese Patterns (Wagara) on Happi Coat

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. 

Tabi Shoes

Are you interested in traditional Japanese shoes, too? See also this article. 

How to Put on Jika-Tabi Shoes (& Size Conversion)


[Traditional Japanese Pattern]

1. 束ね熨斗 Tabane Noshi

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.

See Tabane Noshi Happi


2. 吉原つなぎ Yoshiwara Tsunagi

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. 

See Yoshiwara Tsunagi Happi


3. 巴 Tomoe

Tomoe Symbol
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.

See Tomoe Happi


4. 毛卍紋(けまんもん)Kemanmon

It is a curly hair of Karajishi (Chinese Lion). It represents sun and expresses
"auspicious sign".

See Kemanmon Happi


5. 傘 Kasa

It's pattern of Japanese traditional umbrella.

See Kasa Happi


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. 

See Kuruma Happi


7. 市松 Ichimatsu

Ichimatsu Square
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.

See Ichimatsu Happi


8. 一の字繋ぎ(れんが)Ichinoji Tsunagi

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). 

See Ichinoji Tsunagi Happi


9. 扇 Ougi

Ougi Fan
Ougi is one of the Japanese traditional fans and expresses "development" and "prosperity" because the shape becomes bigger to the end.

See Ougi Happi


10. 纏 Matoi

Matoi is one of the banner-flag used by local fire fighters in Edo period.

See Matoi Happi


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.

See Uroko Happi



12. 龍 Ryu

Ryu Dragon
Ryu is dragon in Japanese. It is one of the popular imaginary creatures in ancient China. It expresses "auspicious sign" and "power" in Japan.

See Ryu Happi


13. 鳳凰 Houou

Houou Phoenix
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".

See Houou Happi


14. 鯛 Tai

Tai Carp
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.

See Tai Happi


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.

See Koi Happi


16. 虎 Tora

Tora Tiger

Tora is tiger in Japanese. It is often compared to legendary dragon. It expressed "brave" and "power".

See Tora Happi


17. 鶴 Tsuru


Tsuru is crane in Japanese. It expresses "long-life" and "mate for life".

See Tsuru Happi


18. 鶴亀 Tsurukame

Crane and Turtle

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".

See Tsurukame Happi


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".

See Chou Happi


20. 唐獅子牡丹 Karajishi Botan

Lions and Peonies

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.

See Karajishi Botan Happi



21. 波 Nami


Nami means wave in Japanese. Wave lasts endlessly. It expresses "eternal happiness" and "peaceful life".

See Nami Happi


22. 波に千鳥 Nami ni Chidori

Wave and Birds

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".

See Nami ni Chidori Happi


23. 桜 Sakura

Sakura Cherry Blossom

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.

See Sakura Happi


24. 富士 Fujisan

Mt. Fuji

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.

See Fujisan Happi



25. 祭 Matsuri

Matsuri Festival

This character writes "Matsuri", which means "festival" in Japanese.

See Matsuri Happi


26. 祭禮 Sairei

Sairei Festival

Sairei is another word for "festival" in Japanese.

See Sairei Happi


27. 大漁 Tairyo

Tairyo Good Catch

Tairyo means "good catch" in Japanese. Japan is island and there are a lot of fisherman who hope to catch a lot of fishes.

See Tairyo Happi


28. 睦 Boku

Boku Mustumi Friendship

This character writes "Boku / Mutsumi". It's not often used in daily conversion but means "friendship" in Japanese.

See Boku Happi


29. 豊年 Honen

Honen Good Harvest

Honen means "good harvest" in Japanese. People pray good harvest and appreciate gods for it in the festival.

See Honen Happi



30. おかめ&ひょっとこ Okame and Hyottoko

Okame and Hyottoko

Okame and Hyottoko are popular Japanese funny face. They play a role of clown and entertain people.

See Okame and Hyottoko Happi


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.

See Kumadori Happi


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