The Sakura (Cherry Blossom) pattern in this Katagami is indicative of Hanami (cherry blossom viewing). It is believed the custom was widespread among ordinary people in the Edo period since Tokugawa Yoshimune (1716-1745) had cherry trees planted in many spots about Edo and encouraged people to view the cherry blossoms. It is said that Hanami parties were held and the cherry blossom pattern was painted in the hopes of a good harvest.
This Katagami pattern is shown in Ukiyo-e Kimonos gaining popularity around late Edo period (1780-1867). Ukiyo-e prints reflected the kimonos worn by famous theatre actors and Oiran geishas and influenced the popular fashion trends all around Japan and at the same time sales of Katagami became very lively.In such an environment, Shimamura is thought to have produced this Katagami pattern around 1850 when he started his Katagami business in Edo.
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.