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Snow, Wave, Pine: Traditional Patterns in Japanese Design [Hardcover]

Motoji Niwa , Sadao Hibi , Jay W. Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 27 2001

An important, but often overlooked, part of the world of Japanese arts and crafts is the array of beautiful, stylized motifs that have traditionally been used to decorate a huge range of objects. Snow, Wave, Pine takes a close look at some of the most classic of those patterns, enabling the reader to recognize and appreciate these motifs wherever they appear, and providing inspiration to anyone interested in design or arts and crafts.
The first half of the book introduces seventy-five important patterns, as depicted on a variety of objects. Seeing the "lotus blossom" or "flowing water" patterns, for instance, on antiques including brocaded kabuki robes, lacquerware trays, and metal sword guards throws into relief the patterns themselves, rather than the objects, making possible a new level of understanding and enjoyment. The informative text describes how each pattern arose, and the significance it had in terms of art, religion, and even politics. The reader has a sense of being empowered to look at any Japanese art, craft or design form with a new and educated eye.
The second half of the book shows a rich and dynamic selection of more than one thousand family crests. Crests are very stylized motifs whose variety and artistry are remarkable. With a minimum of lines, they are able to express the essence of such forms as a pair of facing crows with wings outstretched; the rounded back of a monkey viewed from behind as it sits hunched over, alone; or the elegant single counter-clockwise whorl. Despite being hundreds of years old, they are extremely modern in their sensibility.
Lavishly illustrated with over 450 color plates, and with text and photos alike by experts in the traditional Japanese arts, Snow, Wave, Pine is a treasurehouse of information for anyone interested in design forms or in Japanese culture.


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Product Description

Review

"... stunning photographs... a remarkable variety of stylized motifs."
American Craft

"... the Japanese decorative genius is revealed again and again."
Choice

From the Publisher

Partial List of Full-Color Photos (pattern followed by objects on which it appears)

¥Autumn Flowers
lacquer tray
makie perfume box
karaori No robe, 18th c.
hand-drum
teapot

¥Rabbit-Ear Iris
vase
detail of kataginu
tea bowl
shells
makie inkstone case by Ogata Korin, 17-18th c.; National Treasure

¥Wisteria
detail of makie chest, 18th c.
detail of No robe

¥Rice Plant
sword guard
lacquer cosmetics box

¥Eulalia
kataori No robe, 18th c.
kosode short-sleeved kimono

makie smoking equipment holder

¥Maple Leaf
makie comb and hairpin
detail of nuihaku No robe

¥Arabesque
lacquer box
kariginu No robe
teapot
wax-resist dyed cloth

¥Chrysanthemum
tiered food box
sake bottle
sake keg
lidded lacquer bowl
fan
comb and hairpin

¥Paulownia
plate
wooden hibachi brazier
lacquer pillow
tea bowl
comb
kariginu No robe
kosode short-sleeved kimono

¥Bamboo
makie mirror case; Important Cultural Property
atsuita No robe; 18th c.
fan

lidded makie bowl
lidded rice bowl
lacquer pitcher

¥Plum Blossom
lidded makie bowl
plate
teapot
sake cup holder
noren shop curtain
tea-leaf container by Nonomura Ninsei, 17th c.; Important Cultural Property

¥Hydrangea
lidded jar
detail of makie box, 17th-18th c.
maiginu No robe, 17th-18th c.

¥Grape
smoking equipment holder
jar
lid of makie box

¥Chinese Bellflower
lacquer tray
plate
mirror case
katabira summer kimono, 18th c.

¥Camellia
makie tray
noren shop curtain
plate
plate
plate

¥Peony
vase
plate, 17th c.
comb
detail of obi sash
detail of uchikake kabuki robe

¥Ivy
choken No robe, 18th c.
comb and hairpin
lacquer bowl
water jug
lacquer plate
smoking equipment holder

¥Pine
single-panel screen
sake bottle
smoking equipment tray
portable food chest

¥Cherry Blossom
fan
detail of kitsuke kabuki robe
lid of tiered food box
gold lacquer sake cup
kosode short-sleeved No robe

¥Flower-and-Bird
lidded jar

comb
lidded lacquer bowl
mirror; National Treasure
lidded jar

¥Dragon
obigoromo kabuki robe
relief on portable shrine
ceramic decorative tile
plate
bowl for traditional Japanese sweets
bowl
ceramic decorative tile; 18th c.
bowl for traditional Japanese sweets
lidded rice bowl

¥Tiger
plate
makie incense case, 17th-18th c.
makie inkstone case
yoten kabuki robe

¥Lion
atsuita No robe, 17th c.
plate
plate
soba noodle cup
plate
letter box

¥Dog
detail of hand towel
detail of obi sash
tea cup
tea cup
plate

¥Rat
makie inro medicine container
rice bowl
plate
bowl

¥Rabbit
plate
lid of smoking equipment case
plate
kosode short-sleeved kimono

¥Crane
lid of makie bowl
plate
sake bowl
plate
comb
plate
lidded rice bowl

¥Mandarin Duck
plate
makie sake cup
lacquer tray

¥Chicken
detail of wrapping cloth, 18th c.
plate

¥Sparrow surihaku No robe
bowl

¥Bush Warbler
rice bowl
plate
plate

¥Swallow
comb

haori and kitsuke kabuki robe
detail of yukata cotton summer kimono

¥Bat
kabuki robe
plate
cigarette case
No hair band

¥Phoenix
tsutsugaki-dyed cloth
plate
makie writing-paper box, 17th-19th c.

¥Peacock
incense container
makie box
plate

¥Plover
makie tiered food box, 18th c.
long-sleeved kabuki robe
sake cup basin
plate

¥Wild Goose
makie incense container
detail of hand towel
plate
unlined kimono, 18th c.

¥Heron
bowl
cup
detail of kosode short-sleeved kimono, 19th c.

¥Hawk
lacquer bowl
plate

¥Turtle
metal fitting
tsutsugaki-dyed cloth
plate
lacquer tiered food box

¥Goldfish
plate
bowl
plate
inro medicine container
lacquer tray
ceramic inkstone
round makie inkstone case

¥Sea Bream
wooden mold
ornament from a portable shrine
plate
plate

¥Lobster
uchikake kabuki robe
plate
tea bowl

¥Crab
No hair band
bowl
sword guard, 16th c.
makie inkstone case, 16th c.

¥Seashell
kataori No robe, 18th c.
smoking equipment holder
makie tiered food box

¥Butterfly
detail of obi sash
detail of kabuki robe
detail of obi sash
rice bowl
comb
makie box
inro medicine container

¥Dragonfly
plate
inlaid mother-of-pearl inkstone case
sword guard
sword guard
tobacco pouch
tea bowl

¥Flowing Water
makie sake holder
traditional Japanese sweets
makie pitcher
fan
fan

¥Wave
fusuma sliding doors
fan
fan
jinbaori
hand-drum
makie tiered food box, 18th c.

¥Overlapping Waves
coins
bow
geta clogs
detail of obi sash
smoking equipment tray
chopstick rests

¥Snow
smoking equipment tray
lidded rice tea bowl
sword guard by Hirata Shunkan, 1828
No robe

¥Cloud
detail of kabuki robe
detail of kabuki robe
detail of kabuki robe
detail of kabuki robe

¥Moon
biwa five-stringed lute
detail of noren shop curtain
sword guard, 19th c.

¥Mountain
detail of obi sash
fan
plate
sake bottle
plate

¥Musical Instrument
sword guard, 17th c.
long-sleeved kabuki robe
detail of wrapping cloth

¥Folding Fan
sword guards, 17th-19th c.
comb and hairpin
paper stencil

¥Wheel
makie
detail of obi sash
sword guard
kitsuke kabuki robe

¥Arrow Feather
comb
plate
sword guard, 15th-16th c.
haori and kitsuke kabuki robe

¥Boat
vase
makie hand-drum
sho reed instrument
comb
plate

¥Bridge
jug
comb
detail of katabira summer kimono
detail of kabuki robe

¥Treasures
plate

¥Stripes
tobacco pouch

lidded lacquer bowl
lidded rice bowl

¥Plaid
tobacco pouch
tobacco pouch
soba noodle cup
kitsuke kabuki robe

¥Checks
soba noodle bowl
makie bowl
smoking equipment tray
kosode short-sleeved kimono

¥Overlapping Circles
sandals
bowl
tray
bowl
hibachi hand warmer
lidded tea bowl and saucer

¥Tatewaku
detail of kabuki robe
detail of kabuki robe
detail of kabuki robe
inro medicine container

¥Rhombus
detail of kabuki robe
detail of noren shop curtain
lacquer bowl
head of pipe

¥Triangle
hand-drum bag
atsuita No robe, 17th-19th c.

¥Tortoise Shell
sake cup basin
sake bottle

¥Hemp Leaf
smoking equipment tray

¥Auspicious Patterns
plate
plate
fan, 18th c.
comb and hairpin
tsutsugaki-dyed cloth

¥Human Form
vase
lidded jar
battledore
jug
vase
bowl
bowl
makie

¥Whorl
noren shop curtain
vase, 17th c.
makie cosmetic box

¥Splashed Pattern
kosode short-sleeved kimono


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Plant patterns appeared much later than patterns employing points, lines, and rope figures, making it difficult to find examples of what can definitely be called plant patterns from the Yayoi period or earlier. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauties to Behold Sept. 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This eye-filling book clearly illustrates the rich symbolism of Japanese design. Though not meant as an all-inclusive guide to Japanese arts, the pictorial choices are wonderful. Each design "theme" is accompained by brief but highly informative text. There is also a generous selection of family crests (mon), which would be of particular interest to kimono enthusiasts. This color-saturated album is a joy to look at and would complement Merrily Baird's more complete and scholarly tome, "Symbols of Japan," which, though awesomely researched, has rather weak illustrations in several sections.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but... Sept. 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The photographs are wonderful, the book is classy. The text is kept short to not interfere with the pictures.
A bit too compressed, in my opionion. I would have liked more than four lines of text telling me that something is often depicted.
It's a wonderful book to have it displayed on a table, and to show off a little bit, but that's not the reason why I buy books...
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauties to Behold Sept. 7 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This eye-filling book clearly illustrates the rich symbolism of Japanese design. Though not meant as an all-inclusive guide to Japanese arts, the pictorial choices are wonderful. Each design "theme" is accompained by brief but highly informative text. There is also a generous selection of family crests (mon), which would be of particular interest to kimono enthusiasts. This color-saturated album is a joy to look at and would complement Merrily Baird's more complete and scholarly tome, "Symbols of Japan," which, though awesomely researched, has rather weak illustrations in several sections.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beautiful traditions of Japan. Nov. 5 2005
By Nadia Azumi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mr. Hibi and Mr Niwa, wrote this book,which has fantastic pictures of a variety of patterns used in Japanese Designs. I have used this book as reference for my students, and I strongly recommend this book for Japanese artist lovers. It has more pictures than detailed written research.However all in all it is a great package.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but... Sept. 30 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The photographs are wonderful, the book is classy. The text is kept short to not interfere with the pictures.
A bit too compressed, in my opionion. I would have liked more than four lines of text telling me that something is often depicted.
It's a wonderful book to have it displayed on a table, and to show off a little bit, but that's not the reason why I buy books...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely collection of inspiring designs for any craftsperson Oct. 8 2010
By Esther Schindler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
We're big fans of Arts & Crafts style, especially the bits that incorporate "Japanesque" features (such as Greene & Greene architecture). This book is a great addition to our library, since it has loads of photos of Japanese design motifs.

Chapters are devoted to plant patterns, animal patterns, natural phenomena (such as flowing water and mountains), implements and structures (boats and bridges), geometric patterns, and family crests. Each subject within those category gets two pages of photos, with 4-8 images and just a bit of explanatory text. For instance, the "bamboo" page has two long paragraphs explaining its place in Japanese design (Including, "Bamboo, along with pine boughs and plum blossoms, is one of the 'three friends of winter' and is considered a good omen"), and photos of bamboo on a mirror case, a formal robe, a detail of bamboo in embroidery, a fan, a lidded makie bowl, a rice bowl, a lacquer pitcher, and detail from (I think) another lacquered bowl.

The book is a great brainstorming source when you're trying to come up with ideas for, in our case, stained glass, quilting and applique designs, or woodworking inlay. And it's a great coffee table book to make you say, "Oh, *pretty!*" It's a little less useful if you want to look at a lot of the detail work since, with several photos on the page, many of them are a little small for figuring out how to turn that specific dragon motif into an embroidery design. It might be thin if you're looking at this as a historical reference, too.

That's hardly a knock against the book, though, because it will serve us very well for inspirational ideas.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Useful Compendium Dec 18 2007
By LuvKimono - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very high quality book that photographically documents the use of plant and animal images, natural phenomena, implements and structures, geometric patterns, miscellaneous patterns and family crests in textiles, lacquerware, ceramics, hair combs, paper goods, glassware, wood, metal, and glassware.

Within the textile category alone, the book includes images of woven brocades, kasuri, embroidery, yuzen dyeing, katazome, woodblock prints, woven stripes and checks and free hand paste resist textiles. This is one of the most extensive of the very few widely available books that focus on images of Japanese craft production. Well worth the price, especially Amazon's discounted price.
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