Wet silk

I found a copy of Die schönsten Kimonos in a Jimbochō bargain bin. It includes a reproduction of an 1893 book of kimono/obi patterns (visual, not structural), either entitled or prefaced with the characters "意匠斬新" (Ishō zanshin, "Design innovation"), and einem Nachwort von Peter Thiele.

Here's one pattern that caught my eye:

It's called 海底, "Ocean floor". I like the seaweed and general bloopy forms, but what's up with the 3D-graphics-demo-from-1989 spheres? Anyone know?

Another good one: 古瓦, "Old kawara".

The word kawara, by the way, is thought to come from the Sanksrit kapāla meaning "dish" or "skull". This makes it almost suspiciously good supporting evidence for the reconstructed sound change of non-morpheme-initial Japanese /h/ -- from "p" to "f" to "0/w".

Popularity factor: 3


I'm envious. It's always costly to get collections of kimono patterns over here. At best guess, I'd say that's supposed to be a pearl.


Obviously, 3d graphics demo artists in 1989 took their inspiration from these very designs.

Either that, or the designs in the book were even more innovative than even the title can suggest!


A pearl!! Of course... that makes all kinds of sense. Thanks!

Justin: That would explain why so many of the patterns have scrolling text that reads CRACKED BY BLITZFEED.

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