Abaca: A 'hard' fibre obtained from the leaf sheaths of the wild banana plant.
Acanthus: Foliage design based on the Mediterranean plant Acanthus spinosus, widely used in European arts.
Alpaca: A warm fine woolen cloth, made from the hair of the alpaca goat. The fiber is small but strong, elastic, lustrous and silky. The alpaca goat is common to Chile and Peru.
Jofu: superior grade of plain-weave hemp [Cannabis sativa]or linen cloth; especially favored for summer wear by the samurai class; see katabira; later applied to summer weight fabrics that have a similar texture (even silk) [BtTB, Nagasaki, pg.17]
Jomon: pattern produced by shaping clay vessels with a paddle or stick wrapped with twisted cord; the pottery and period derive their names from this technique [AoJ,v.1,pg.138]
Juban: undergarment worn beneath the kimono; it�s construction is similar to that of the kimono. Traditionally the patterns and colors are bold. Naga-juban are ankle length, and han-juban are hip length.
Junihitoe (12 unlined): colloquially, the term applied to a 12 layered form of dress for court women, which originated in the Heian period; actual number of layers varied with time; sometimes as many as 15 or as few as nine; [JCaTA,pg.14]
Kagayuzen: style of decoration employing yuzen technique; motifs and compositions reflect a more exuberant taste developed in Kaga (present Ishikawa); especially when persimmon red is used; also Kagazome [trad.]
Kakeshita: name for the kimono worn under the uchikake during a wedding ceremony.
Kaketsugi: mending technique. To sew a torn part to hide the seam.
Kaki-e: Hand-painting on fabric, usually with sumi ink. The best-known example is the use of kaki-e in tsujigahana textiles.
Kaku obi: stiff, single-layer obi some 4-5 inches in width; mostly worn by adult males, but sometimes also by adult females [trad.]
Kakuregasa: magic �hiding hat�, one of the auspicious Collection of treasures motifs.
Kakuremino: magic �hiding cape�, one of the auspicious Collection of Treasures motifs.
Kamiko: treated paper (usually made from mulberry fiber); used as fabric for clothing [BtTB, Nagasaki, pg.17-19]
Kanebukuro: �money bag�, one of the auspicious Collection of Treasures motifs.
Kanoko (fawn): ): tie-dye technique; named for its' resemblance to the spotting on a fawn's coat [trad.]
Kanoko-Shibori: One of the tie-dyed techniques. The pattern looks like dots on the back of deer. Kanoko literally means infant deer.
Kappa (cape): specifically, thigh-length traveling cape; semi-circular form, with shallow stand-up collar; usually double layer of cotton fabric with waterproof paper sandwiched between [Trad.]
Karakusa: Literally �Chinese grasses�. A design of curving tendrils, sometimes with leaves and flowers, introduced into Japan from Tang dynasty China in the eighth century. �Arabesque�, another translation of karakusa, is an inaccurate description of these textile designs. Unfortunately, it was chosen rather than �foliage� or �scroll work�, two other meanings of karakusa.
Karaori (Chinese weave): compound weave, with satin designs on a twill ground; highly embellished with multiple colors and gold; now largely used exclusively in Noh drama [AoJ,v.1,pg.138]
Kariyasu: yellow tint obtained from miscanthus grass [Miscanthus tinctorius]; [BtTB, Dusenbury, pg. 27]
Kasanegi (multi-layered wear): style of dress that derives it effect from the contrast of many layers of single-colored garments.
Katabira: unlined summer kosode made of fine hemp cloth; often yuzen-dyed,and embellished with embroidery. The katabiri was often decorated with patterns that give a �cool� feeling, such as flowing water or snow.
Kataginu: stiff, sleeveless jacket or jumper worn as a costume in Kyogen drama [AoJ,v.1,pg.109,114]; similar in form to the upper half of the kamishimo
Katamigawari (half-and-half): style of garment in which the halves are made from different fabrics or designs; sleeves may be alternated as well [AoJ,v.1,138]
Katasuso (shoulder and hem): style of decoration for kosode confined to the shoulders and hem; often done in embroidery [JCaTA,pg.119]
Katazome (stencil dying): dye technique; starch resist process applied with paper stencils; one paper stencil per color required. Often dip-dyed, but sometimes dye is applied by brush or thickened and applied by tube. Stencil dyeing is well suited for mass production, while the designs, made by repetition of the patterning process, have a uniquely rhythmical beauty that has been cherished by people in all parts of Japan since ancient times. Bingati is the bright, polychrome katazome developed in Okinawa.
Kesa: rectangular or trapezoidal stole worn by Buddhist priests; often paired with an ohi of similar design; is draped under the right arm and cinched over the left shoulder with cords; styles vary according to sect. Kesa are often made of patchwork to suggest the patched clothing of the poor
Kicho: curtain: standing curtain used to partition rooms or to block the wind.
Kihada: yellow tint derived from the bark of Amur cork tree [Phellodendron amurense]; [BtTB, Dusenbury, pg. 27]
Kikko: �tortoise shell�: hexagonal motif used as an allover pattern or as a single unit. Has felicitous connotations because the tortoise symbolizes longevity.
Kimono: : literally �the thing worn�. Originally, to the Japanese kimono meant simply �clothing�, but today kimono sometimes is used often as a generic term for all types of kosode and as the name for any contemporary garment that in any way resembles the kosode. However, the contemporary wearer of these garments uses the proper Japanese name for each garment. Kosode, not kimono, is the generic term used when referring to the kimono-like garments worn in earlier periods.
Kinran: twill silk fabric; decorative motifs are woven in gold thread; introduced to Japan during Ming dynasty [JCaTA,pg.143,44]
Kinsai-Yuzen: from Yuzen-zome. Gilt technique with gold and silver
Kinsha: fine grade of chirimen [trad.]
Kinsya: High quality silk-gauze woven with foil, gold and silk threads. As it is thin and light, it is used for summer wear.
Kintoshi: silk fabric woven with gold threads.
Kiri hoo: combined paulownia and phoenix motif.
Kirihame: decorative fabric inserts or applique; formerly known as zogan [JCaTA,pg.157]
Kissyo-Ka: auspicious flowers such as chrysanthemum, peony, plum flower, Paulson and others
Kofurisode: Short-sleeved furisode. The length of the sleeves is about 30 inches.
Kogin: dense geometric patterned embroidery on work clothing.
Komainu: guardian dog, a mythical lion-like beast that repels evil.
Komanui: Couching: Colored, gold, and silver threads that are too thick to pass through the eye of a needle are laid along the underdrawing and couched by another thin silk thread.
Komon: fine overall pattern; usually resist dyed; favored by samurai for formal wear [trad.]
Koshimaki (hip wrap): style of wear characterized by belting only the lower half of kosode at the waist and allowing the upper half to drape freely; also kosode of stiff brocade designed for this style [trad.]
Kosode: : literally �small sleeves�. The kosode is the forerunner to the modern kimono worn by married women. In the Heian period, it was worn as an undergarment by both men and women of the court nobility. Later it became the outer garment for all the classes. The �small sleeves� referred originally to the small opening for the wrist, which distinguished the kosode from the �osode�, �large sleeves�, in which the wrist opening was the full length of the sleeve. In modern times, �kosode� also have �small sleeves� in the sense that that they are shorter than those of the furisode.
Kotobuki: ideogram meaning "long life" and "prosperity"; often used on textiles and porcelain [trad.]
Kozo: mulberry [Broussonetia; bast fiber used for paper; paper used either as fabric or woven with other fibers [BtTB, Cort, pg.38]
Kuchinashi: yellow tint derived from gardenia hulls [Gardenia jasminoides]; [BtTB, Dusenbury, pg. 27]
Kuro: black tint derived from initial immersion in brown (usually derived from native acorns), followed by application of iron mordant; [BtTB, Dusenbury, pg. 27]
Kuro Montsuki Haori: formal black crested haori
Kurotomesode (black tomesode): ): formal kimono characterized by narrow cuffs and black ground; decorated with appropriate motifs in yuzenzome; worn by the mother and female relatives of the principals when attending weddings; by contrast, invited female guests wear the irotomesode [trad.]
Kusakizome: dyeing using plant extracts.
Kyogen: Literally �wild words�. An interlude of light social comedy or parody between two Noh plays in which the actors use ordinary speech or a dialect and do not wear masks. There is no musical accompaniment.
Maiginu (dance robe): garment, based upon court dress; generally used for female dance roles in Noh performances [trad.]
Maiwai: fisherman�s ceremonial jacket.
Mame shibori: style of tie dying; said to resemble bean (mame) shape but split by a resisted line [trad.]
Maru obi: obi made from double-wide fabric, which is folded lengthwise, and hemmed at the selvages; always fully patterned; usually decorated in small, repeated motifs; often in multiple colors; typically the most formal obi worn by women [trad.]
Matsuinui: An embroidery technique for rendering lines. The curved stitch follows upward the lines of the underdrawing and the width of the lines are varied by the layers of the stitch.
Matsukawabishi: �pine bark lozenge�, a geometric motif of three superimposed diamond forms used as an allover repeating pattern as well as a single unit.
Mawata: The silk wadding processed from the cocoons that have been pierced as the moth emerged from the cocoon. The thread cannot be reeled as a continuous filament from a pierced cocoon, but the cocoon can be stretched into a fairly large, flat, thin square of wadding.
Meibutsugire: Fabrics imported from abroad during the 13th-16th century preserved in shrines, temples and the collections of daimyo families, they were highly prized and often used in the mountings of hanging scrolls or made into bags for tea ceremony utensils.
Meyui: tie-dyed motif of hollow squares, formalized into a checkerboard pattern arranged on a diagonal; commonly used as a mon [AoJ,v.1,pg.139]
Mingei: Japanese folk crafts.
Miyamairi: ceremonial kimono draped over a one-month old infant when first presented at ancestral Shinto shrine; usually styled like furisode but reduced; decorated with auspicious themes or motifs; mostly for boys.
Mizugoro+mo: over-garment for male Noh roles
Mojiri-ori: or gauze weaving, in which the warps are twisted together to create open-structured fabrics such as sha, ro and ra gauzes.
Mokume shibori (wood-grain): process of resist dying; parallel rows of basting stitches compress fabric into furrows and ridges; only exposed edge of shirred fabric receives dye solution; simulates the parallel lines of tree ring growth [trad.]
Murasaki: : purple tint derived from gromwell [Lithospermum crythrorhizon] plant root; originally, a luxury import from China; also termed shikon; [BtTB, Dusenbury, pg. 27]
Naga hakama (long+hakama): a type of hakama worn exclusively indoors; during Heian Period, always red in color and worn by females with a white kosode as underlayer for more decorative and elaborate garments; in Edo Period most frequently worn at the Shogun's court on the most formal of occasions by daimyo[trad.]
Nagoya obi: a post-Meiji type of obi made from and extra long, standard width fabric; trailing end made by folding last few yards back upon itself then seaming the selvages; the plain remainder is folded in half, lengthwise and seamed all the way to the end; narrow portion is wrapped closest to the body [trad.]
Nambam (southern barbarian): the term originally applied to Portuguese and Dutch traders, who first arrived in Japan during the 16th century; by extension, any European; also motifs that either feature European figures or artifacts [AoJ,v.1,pg.139]
Nanago: satin: . A variation of hira-ori (plain weave) with a set of two warps and two wefts. The fine stone pavement pattern resembles fish eggs, after which the weave is named.
Nanten: [Nandina domestica]: traditional motif modeled on the shrub of the same name; especially noted for its' red berries [trad.]
Neriginu: type of glossed silk first produced at Nishijin in the Momoyama period [AoJ,v.1,pg.139]
Nerinuki: A plain weave (hira-ori) of unglossed silk (kiito) warps and glossed silk (neriito) wefts. It has a distinctive tension and luster and is favored in �tsujigahana� designs. It lost it�s popularity after rinzu appeared.
Nindo: honeysuckle [Lonicera sempervirens]; motif introduced from Korea; most popular during the Asuka and Nara periods; often organized as a palmette [AoJ,v.1,pg.20-24]
Nishi+jin (West camp): ): Kyoto district famed since the sixteenth for its' textile production; established in the Kamakura period to encourage the development of weaving and sericulture in Japan [trad.]
Nishiki: compound weaves with decorative warp and weft threads; usually on plain or twill ground; also indicates any highly coloful pattern; colloquially known as "brocade" [trad.]
Noh: form of theatrical performance; developed and patronized by the military class in the Kamakura period; an out-growth of court Bugaku and Gagaku traditions [JCaTA,pg.53, 54]
Noren: entry curtain. Split into two or more segments, and hung over a doorway.
Norikake-nui: : restitching undertaken in order to hold down long floats.
Noshi: bundle of abalone strips or paper used as an ornament for auspicious occasions; a decorative motif that represents same. Originally a �noshi� was a bundle of thin strips of dried abalone placed on a gift. Later it became a bundle of colourful bands of cloth tied in an ornamental knot. Then it became a piece of folded paper, �origami�, in which was inserted a strip of dries abalone. If the abalone is replaced by flowers, it is called �hanonoshi�
Noshime: robe of kosode form with wide lapels; used as a basic garment for commoner dress in Noh performances; also used in conjunction with other garments for major roles [trad.]
Nuihaku: A combined technique of embroidery and �surihaku� (applied metallic leaf). Also refers to Noh robes decorated with this technique.
Nuikiri: Also called hiranui: An embroidery technique in which comparatively small-sized motifs are freely rendered in satin stitch regardless of the warp or weft structure of the weave. This is the most common technique for depicting a flat surface.
Nume: unfigured satin. The ground is of a thin satin structure with a smooth, lustrous surface.
Nyoihoju: �wish-come-true pearl�, one of the auspicious Collection of Treasures motifs.
Obi (sash/belt): essentially a wrap-around sash, which keeps the front of the kimono closed; comes in many types and styles; all differentiated by gender, age, marital status, and occasion; some types are: chuya, fukuro, heko, hanhaba, kaku, maru, Nagoya, tsuke, Hakata
Obijime: long cord tied outside the obi for decoration.
Ohi: rectangular Buddhist vestment draped over left forearm; usually worn en suite with kesa, which it matches in form and fabrics; sometimes simulated by folded extension at left edge [trad.]
Ohyo: bast fiber of the elm [Ulmus]; primarily used by Ainu for clothing; does not readily hold dyes; often original yellow-brown fiber color remains untreated [BtTB, Cort, pg.42]
Omen: cotton: Omen spread in the East from its origin in South East Asia slowly. The earliest piece of imported cotton found in Japan dates from the 7th century however it was not until the 16th century that an adequate location to grow cotton was found in Japan, since the plant is semitropical and the Japanese climate was poorly suited for its cultivation. The introduction of cotton in the Edo period revolutionized textile products for commoners and was much more comfortable than bast fibers.
Omeshi: tightly woven plain weave; made with hand-twisted, dyed thread with a firm texture [trad.] Omeshi garments were popular throughout the Showa era, especially during the 1950�s.
Orinui shibori: tie-dye technique; characterized by offset patches of resisted fabric flanking a common dyed line; gives the appearance of clenched teeth; created by shirring fabric between two parallel lines of basting stitches [trad.]
Osa: reed, a comb-like frame consisting of thin strips of bamboo which is used to separate the warps and to beat the weft against the previously woven area of the cloth. Metal reeds are more common than bamboo reeds today.
Oshima tsumugi: variety of silk fabric made with hand twisted threads from Amami Island (Kagoshima); often dyed in kasuri technique with local earths; said to be long-wearing [trad.]
Ramie: the fine bast fiber used to weave delicate fabrics.
Rinzu: A self-patterned satin weave where the pattern is produced by the juxtaposition of the warp and weft faces of the weave. It is woven with the sericin still in the warps and wefts and is degummed (glossed) and dyed after being woven. Usually rinzu is woven in 4/1 or 7/1 warp-faced satin for the ground weave and � or 1/7 weft-faced satin weave for the patterning. The fabric is reversible. The scheme of the patterning of rinzu differs from the other satin damask weave, donsu, in that rinzu has a more equal balance between the amount of space allotted to the ground weave and that occupied by the patterning.
Ro: Gauze weave alternating with plain weave. A warp yarn crosses three, five, or seven weft yarns in the plain weave, and the two warp yarns are twisted. Softer and more pliable than sha (gauze weave), ro was popular for summer kosode during the Edo period and remains in use today.