Take Hiratsugi (n.d.)
Pattern Book: Moon through the Pine Trees
(Hinagata matsu no tsuki), 1697
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
Books like this one offered viewers the opportunity to become familiar with the newest designs for kimono, since “in general, fashions change from year to year,” as the first line of its introduction may be translated. Kimono designs often featured elements drawn from classical poetry themes related to famous places, and well-versed readers would have recognized motifs as referring to those appreciated sites. Here, the floral design would have drawn the association to the site of the eight-plank bridge surrounded by flag irises (kakitsubata) in Musashino as described in the Tales of Ise (Ise monogatari) from the Heian period (794-1185).
Julie Nelson Davis