Edokomon – Kimono

Edo-komon katagami (pattern paper)

The feature of Edokomon (Edo-komon) is tiny and elaborate design dyed with pattern papers called “Ise-Katagami” as well as sarasa komon , and various motifs are seen.


Edokomon has a long history and appeared in the late Heian Period (around the mid 12th century) which was tiny sakura motif called “kozakura”.
Toward the Edo Period, Edokomon began to be used for samurai’s formal kimono, “Kamishimo”. Each family has its own design which became symbol of the family.
And after then, common people began to enjoy them in the late Edo Period (the early 19th century).

(Tokugawa family)
“Goku-same” (Kishuu, collateral of Tokugawa) (*)
(Takeda family) (**)
“Goma (sesami) ” (Nabeshima family)

“Daisyou-arare (hail of many size)”
(Shimazu family)
“Kiku-bishi (rhombic chrysanthemum)”
(Maeda family)

The motif of “Same komon” is derived from shark’s skin.

Not “Edokomon” but just “Komon” is one of kimono types, which has little patterns in whole. And the patterns are regardless of position while homongi or tsukesage has upward patterns.
So it’s not be able to be worn in a formal situation, but the status of “Edokomon” is high, we can put on it as a semi-formal kimono as well as “Iromuji”. In that case, formal Nagoya-obi or Fukuro-obi is teamed with.
The following 3 Edokomon designs are said to be the highest status.

same (shark)
kaku-toushi (vertically and horizontally linable squares)
gyougi-doushi (crossly linable tiny dots)

other typical Edokomon design

Mansuji (ten thousand stripes) (***)
fubuki (snow shower)
ebi ni arare (shrimp and hail)
suzume (sparrow)
kamenoko (little tortoise)
bisyamon-kikkou (honeycomb)
tombo (dragonfly)
tougarashi (pepper)
syouchikubai (pine, bamboo, and plum)
* “Goku” means “very elaborate”.
** “Takeda-bisi” means “Takeda’s rhombus”, and “bishi is changed from “hishi”. When two words are united in one word, the pronunciation of the initial letter ‘h’ in the latter word changes to ‘b’. (e.g. takeda + hishi = takeda-bishi)
*** “Man” means ten thousand and “suji” is stripe. Some ten thousand stripes are dyed on about 30cm(12inch)-wide cloth. An extremely high level of skill is entailed to make a pattern paper of mansuji.