The combination of bamboo and sparrow is often seen in kimono of the Edo period (1603-1867). Bamboo maintains its evergreen colour, expressing a rugged life force resisting wind and snow to grow straight. The sparrow is regarded as a symbol of personal prosperity, clan prosperity, rich fruit crops and it is said to be auspicious.
The ‘Fukura Suzume’ (round and puffy Sparrow) pattern which was strikingly incorporated in this pattern was particularly popular in the late Edo era (1780~1867). ‘Fukura’ means 'to expand', so coupled with the auspicious Sparrow the pattern means "Good things will expand". This is why there are many sparrows in bamboo in family crests.
This is one of around 400 Japanese katagami stencils which are part of the Silver Studio Collection. The stencils were produced in Japan as a way of applying patterns to fabric, mainly kimonos. The katagami collected by the Silver Studio were used by their designers as reference material to produce their own Japanese-inspired patterns.