Edokomon originated in Samurai Kamisimo, a costume traditionally worn by samurai. In the Edo era, Samurai belonging to their clan tried to competitively show off the clans power by using in droves the patterns exclusive for their clan. It looks plain when seen at a distance but when closely looked, it floats up to come in such a delicate pattern, letting out a sigh, which is quintessence of Edokomon.
Feudal lords in the mid Edo era are said to have begun originally dyeing tiny patterns for their Kamisimo, competing their foppery with others in showing how their patterns look fine.
In the Edo era, the sumptuary law was announced officially that flashy kimonos were prohibited. Nonetheless, those who wanted to be dressed smart got themselves motivated to wear Kimonos which looked plain at distance but were dyed in fine patterns when looked closely. It is said that This is the beginning of Edokomon. Furthermore the local domain lords are said to made samurais family crests of their own dyed for their Kamisimo.
Edokomon used to be for commonly dressing smart for
both of men and women, but at some time or other before we know it, today it has totally been for womens kimonos. Persimmon tannin is repeatedly applied to Washi, Japanese paper, patterns on which are dyed, with a paper pattern called Ise kamigata.
Back to the history of paper patterns of tiny patterns dyed. Edokomon was originated in the Ashikaga Era, and when it comes to classical patterns of Edokomon, it was established far back in the Heian era.
Anyway, Edokomn rapidly developed as pattern dyeing for Samurais kamishimo, during the Kan-ei period of the Edo era. It can be said that Edokomion is ultimate beauty in bloom or flower of dyeing in Japanese traditional tiny patterns Katazome, dyeing fabric.
Komon of Edokomon is a very tiny and fine pattern opposed to large and medium-sized pattern dyeing fabric in the Edo era as well, and accordingly Komon was named after tiny small pattern dyeing. Large patterns are to be dyed for family crests of Samurais which were used for camp enclosures or flags.
Samurais costume with wide sleeves with family crest dyed are called Costume of Large pattern. The size of a crest was more than 23cm wide while small ones were designed to dye relatively small parts or leather ones of weapons or fabric parts of protecting knees or wrists. The sizes of small patterns are within 12 cm.
Arrangement of family crest for Bushi (Samurai) family was made for the purpose of flaunting their power rather than decoration as a symbol of authority. Feudal lords did not permit other Bushi without their approval to use even small patterns which were for exclusively used and owned by them, regardless of how small patterns were., because even small patterns have a prestigious status as one exclusively used by domain lords, the patterns equal to the large ones.
As such, Komon developed in Samurai families was very prestigious as a matter of course. But coupled with over-matured cultural climate of Genroku period (1688 to 1704), in the mid Edo era in the atmosphere that the severe moral tone waned, Komon, small and tiny patterns, has come to be used commonly by both sexes under rapid development of Nagaita dyeing method by Norioki technique.
Komon has turned to be very popular among men and women with no boundary in between. Ever since. Characteristic of Edokomon based upon katagami paper patterns cut in Ise stays in nothing but its fineness. At a glance, it looks plain, although it is so small and tiny pattern.
Its fine patterns cover the whole cloth in the regular array of pattern and neatly dyed in one single color that is so chic. How many small patterns does Komono have in 3 square cm? It comes in several dozens to several hundred, as many as a thousand when it is the finest. Furthermore, its katagami paper patterns are all hand cut.
Down to this day from the Edo era, paper patterns have been made throughout its life exactly in Shirako, Kishu, nowhere else (currently Shirako-machi, Suzuka-shi, Mie prefecture). The region became a domain belonging to the Kishus, one of three top Tokugawa-related families during the Edo era, and under its protection, paper pattern dyeing production was developed and promoted as a monopoly industry. And paper patterns produced were sold throughout the country by paper pattern vendors holding lanterns and through Tegata passport saying Contractor with the Kishus, Ise Paper Pattern dyed.