Ichimatsu, my favourite check pattern which apparently was named after a Kabuki actor called Ichimatsu who used this pattern for his clothing. I've gathered some Ichimatsu photos I've taken around Japan here!

First 3 photos are taken at my favourite Ichimatsu moss garden at Tofuku-ji temple in Kyoto in 2004.
Isn't it devine!?


  1. like the 2nd last one and i want to go to kyoto. been there only once loong time ago

  2. >at swim-two-birds
    yes i guess japan is far away in many ways..!

    the picture you mentioned is from Garden museum of Isamu Noguchi in Takamatsu. And I love Kyoto, somehow it reminds me of Paris.

  3. oh, completely divine! love the photographs. :)

  4. that is so great, and amazing because there was a tv show on abc here recently called 'around the world in 80 gardens', and they interviewed the grandson of the garden designer of the top two photos. the garden was really, really controversial at the time, such a break from traditional zen gardens. but as you say - that check design is actually a very traditional japanese design. thanks so much for a a really great post!

  5. Beautiful photos of ichimatsu!

  6. oh really? love isamu noguchi's work. i should probably go visit the museum.

  7. >jenna
    Thank you for visiting my blog :)

    Yes I can imagine how controversial it must have been at the time, for a zen garden design. When I saw it for the first time, i just sat there gazing at it for a long time all by myself. But yes I guess I can see the very Japanese traditional feel to this design somehow...

    >mizu design
    Thank you. I think I saw ichimatsu written in ro-ma-ji for the first time putting up this post, but i kind of like how it looks now ;)

    Yes! 「イサムノグチ庭園美術館」is fantastic! You have to make a booking in advance by a post card (!) and it's not easily accessed, but you can see the little house Isamu lived and where he worked and all, so if you like his work it's definately worth a visit ;)


your kind words are always welcome and appreciated! arigato :)