Nature Symbolism

This small panel shows two different types of chrysanthemum flowers, a hemp leaf design and butterflies. Chrysanthemums are longevity symbols since they bloom when the rest of the world of nature prepares to go to sleep in the autumn. Butterflies can also be longevity symbols since they transform from caterpillars and represent the Buddhist concept of rebirth of the soul. The six-pointed star pattern represents hemp leaves. This pattern often decorated children’s clothes, representing a wish for the child to grow straight and strong like hemp plants. The hemp leaf design is enclosed within half of a shape called matsukawabishi which refers to a pattern of pine bark.

Copyright 2006 Jeffrey Krauss and Ann Marie Moeller