The japanese pattern Asa-no-ha

Asa-no-ha is a composite word, constructed from the words Asa=hemp, No=of and Ha=leaf. So literally, the word Asa-No-Ha means hemp leave. In Japan it is said that the overlapping six-pointed stars, represent in an abstract way the leaves of the hemp plant. In ancient Japan hemp was used for making clothing and paper. 


Asa-No-ha, as a pattern is one of the most popular patterns in Japanese culture, often seen on Japanese Kimonos and textiles. It is also found on the clothing of Buddhist statuary of the Heian (794–1185) through Muromachi (1336–1573) periods when the pattern was used for Kirikane ornaments. The design was also popular during the Edo period (1603–1868), when it was promoted by Iwai Hanshirou V. 
asa-no-ha, asanoha, asanoha kabuki, kabuki costume, Yaoya Oshichi
Asa-no-ha, on Kabuki costume for the young Yaoya Oshichi
Beliefs: Because, the hemp plant was known to grow rapidly and straight, the αsa-no-ha pattern was often added in children's garments to encourage their healthy growth. Also the wives of merchants used to wear cloths with Asa-no-ha patterns to bring good fortune to the wearer.

The structure of the pattern
The structure of the pattern is geometric, based on triangular tilling. The repeated shape is a six-pointed star, with lines connecting the opposite points. Each star, consists of 6 identical diamonds arranged around a central point.

References: 
  1. Asa-No-Ha  / JAANUS - Japenese Architecture and Art Net Users System
  2. Decoding Kyoto: Pattern #1- asa-no-ha / Kyoto.bbianca.net
  3. Asanoha pattern / Tracepattern 
  4. Yaoya Oshichi / Wikipedia 
  5. Asanoha, an "od to Japan" littlelionstudio.com
  6. Tiling by regular polygons/ Wikipedia

      

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