At the end of the Edo period, the port of Yokohama was opened in 1859 and silk yarn threads played a major role in exporting. However, they were being short of stock as the demand increased and inferior products were distributing on the market. Therefore, the Meiji Government shipped goods with the original silk label as a certificate of high-quality silk yarn threads. Each silk reeling mill makes label marks with various patterns such as the Japanese traditional motifs or the ones familiar to export partner countries. These labels are designed to express “made-in-Japan” to the world.
Sea is boundless like a long history of the authentic Japanese silk back to ancient times. Several sea animals are living in the sea and river on the silk labels.
This is the season when leaves color fresh green and insects start to move lively. A silkworm is fed mulberry leaves in this season. It becomes a cocoon and produced silk yarn is spun carefully, then, changes its form into the authentic Japanese silk.
Spring has come, and cherry blossoms begin to bloom. Cherry blossoms are designed in many labels of the authentic Japanese silk as the flower representing Japan.
Even the end of the Edo period when they did not have any occupation as a graphic designer as in modern society, we can find the silk labels with well-designed symbol marks. It must be interesting to guess who designed these labels regarding as the history of the authentic Japanese silk.
The crane symbolizing Japan must be one of the most appropriate motifs for the Japanese silk. Feel the new year's freshness with these cranes flying away to the sky.
The flowers such as a plum flower, chrysanthemum, and lily of the valley bloom during the cold season from late autumn to early spring in Japan. Their refined appearance resembles to the authentic Japanese silk.
The symbolic buildings in each local area in Japan such as Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine and Matsumoto-jo Castle are on the labels. The magnificent castles or towers express the grace of the authentic Japanese silk.
The western motif such as an angel and Pegasus is designed on many labels of the authentic Japanese silk. The westerners of the day might be surprised at its high quality of the authentic Japanese silk and felt familiar with the design of these labels.
The females motifs such as traditional Japanese ladies and heavenly maidens in legends in robe-of-feathers add glamour to the labels crossing the sea.
The earth is used for many labels of the authentic Japanese silk that exported all over the world. Pigeons and cocoons drawn like crossing the world shows the silk industry was worldwide business.
Mt.Fuji, which was registered as the world cultural heritage, was used for the label marks with various designs. This Japan’s highest mountain has been loved as the symbol of the country since that time.
The labels have a colorful flower motif such as a chrysanthemum, cherry blossom, morning glory, and rose. These beautiful flowers crossed the sea with the authentic Japanese silk.