Hemp Leaf Pattern
Asanoha literally means ‘hemp leaf’ and this pattern is a stylized interpretation of the plant.
Traditionally, asanoha patterns have been put on babies’ clothes as a protector against evil. Since the hemp plant grows quickly, it was customary and common to use for children’s clothes, in the hopes that the child would also grow fast and strong. It can also mean protection from harm or evil spirits.
Before cotton was imported to Japan, most textiles were made from hemp. Hemp is a hardy plant, able to grow fast and straight without requiring much attention.
Hemp was the main material of clothing for the common people until cotton was cultivated in the Sengoku period (around 1600).
This pattern has the meaning of a protection from harm or evil spirits.