Japanese paper and symbols

The Japanese paper I use to make my paper purses is either Katasome-shi or Chiyogami. These papers are hand stenciled and the colors are vibrant.  The papers are made from the bark of various trees or shrubs making it conducive to stitching.  

Japanese symbols are an integral part of Japanese culture.  Symbols deepen the meaning of an artifact making for fond feelings toward the object whether it be a fashion accessory or an object in our homes.

Some popular symbols:

Lotus - Purity.  The flower rising from dirty muddy waters to bloom into a beautiful flower.  Also means enlightenment.

Fan - Journey of life.  The narrow end represents birth and the blades the various paths of life.

Chrysthanenum - Endurance and rejuvenation

Cherry blossom - Appreciation of fleeting beauty because of the short blooming season.

Butterfly - Metamorphosis and transformation

Crane - Longevity and good fortune

Plum flower - Refinement and purity.  Represents the coming of spring because they are the first blossoms to open.

Gourd - Good health, good luck, and prosperity

Moon - Rejuvenation

Koi fish - Aspiration and perseverance

Bamboo - Symbol of prosperity