kisshoumon 吉祥文
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A broad range of decorative designs which are thought to bring good fortune. Many were brought to Japan from China but some developed in Japan. There are three main types of kisshoumon: 1) designs that are in themselves considered to be symbols of good fortune such as the crane-and-turtle tsuru-kame 鶴亀 and precious objects takarazukushi 宝尽; 2) the phoenix design hououmon 鳳凰文 (see *houou 鳳凰) or floating chrysanthemum design *kikusuimon 菊水文; 3) designs whose pronunciation echoes or approximates a common congratulatory word or phrase, and so became a favored symbol among the warrior class. Native kisshoumon include Mt Fuji 富士, the hawk taka 鷹, and the eggplant nasubi 茄子. See *ichi-Fuji, ni-taka, san-nasubi 一富士二鷹三茄子.


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