’Kiku' (Chrysanthemum) pattern is widely loved as an auspicious pattern because of the beauty and fragrance of the flower. Chrysanthemums symbolize longevity and rejuvenation, and they are very special flowers in Japan, given their close ties to the Imperial family. These golden blooms symbolize the emperor and the Chrysanthemum Throne, the Imperial Seal of Japan, and the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. The round shape of the pattern is reminiscent of the sun and it was popularly used in the costumes of Oiran Geisya, and wearing second hand Kiku kimonos was popular among common people in the late Edo period (1780-1867). Many Ukiyo-e Chrysanthemum Kimono were produced as it was promoted for a Oiran geisha costumes. Chrysanthemum pattern Kimono were often combined with diamond shapes, circles or 'Tessen’ (Clematis). Chrysanthemum is supposed to be an autumn flower; however, this pattern could be used regardless of the season at that time.
At the beginning of the Meiji era (after 1868), Chrysanthemum and Clematis pattern Katagami were often used for 'Inban-zara' (porcelain) which began production in the Seto and Arita regions, primarily for use of the common people. Katagami produced for Inban-zara were smaller than the Chu-gata size (about 15cm x 22-30cm) for dyeing kimono. This katagami was not produced for Inban-zara.
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.