This decorative motif was used in Tang China and Japan’s Nara and Heian periods (roughly, the seventh to twelfth century). AWAI’s freely winding karakusa arabesques are inspired by late Heian hosoge embroidery and the ornamental practices of Esoteric Buddhism, which are also linked to the sumptuous Heike Nokyo sutras at Itsukushima Shrine. Often used as decoration in Buddhist temples, these hosoge and karakusa motifs are executed with solid three-dimensionality in silver thread. The gold threads woven into soothingly colored fabric gleam like grains of light. The hosoge and karakusa in silver thread stand out vividly. Add a gentle touch to everyday life with this ancient expression of tenderness toward flowering things.
This appealing color suggestive of matcha green tea was forbidden to any but the emperor during the Heian period (794-1185). In dim illumination it looks like a pale brown, but in direct light the green emerges vividly. Curling through the intermediate space between this characteristically ambiguous Japanese color and crisp navy are hosoge flowers and karakusa arabesques in icy silver thread.