日本の「宝尽くし」文様 Japanese “full of treasure” pattern

サントリー美術館「ざわつく日本美術展」より「宝尽くし文様の着物」”Kimono with “full of treasure” pattern” from the Suntory Museum of Art “Zawatsuku Japanese Art Exhibition”


There are many patterns that have been traditionally used in Japan. Among them, the “full of treasure” pattern is a pattern that allows you to know the Japanese values that have been passed down historically. It is also interesting that things that Japanese people do not think are treasures for modern people are treasures.


This time, I would like to summarize the auspicious “full of treasure” pattern.

「宝尽くし文様」の由縁 The reason for the “full of treasure pattern”


The origin of the Japanese “full of treasure” pattern is also from China.

中国の「七宝」Chinese “seven treasures”


In China, the following seven are defined as “seven treasures” as “treasure that decorates the country of Buddha”, which means wealth and good fortune. It is also called “Seven rare treasures”.

金(こん)Gold貴金属 Precious metals
銀(ごん)Silver貴金属 Precious metals
瑠璃(るり)Ruri鉱物・金緑石 Minerals, chrysoberyl
Mineral Lazurite (lapis lazuli) → Japanese name “Ruri”
玻璃(はり)Glass無色の水晶・ガラス Colorless crystal / glass
5硨磲(しゃこ)Tridacnaシャコガイ科二枚貝の貝殻 Tridacna family bivalve shell
Coral that becomes a beautiful red jewel among the coral reefs of the sea
7瑪瑙(めのう)Agate鉱物の変種の一つ。One of the mineral varieties.
Can be dyed artificially → In addition to ornaments, materials for craft sculpture


参考写真:東京国立博物館所蔵 並河晴之作七宝作品Reference photo: Cloisonne work by Haruyuki Namikawa, owned by the Tokyo National Museum

“Seven treasures” is more famous for the craft technique “Cloisonne”, which is a craft technique to decorate a metal base by baking glass glaze, but originally it is a beautiful color technique like “Seventreasures”. It seems that the name was given by that.


There was a reference that Japan’s “full of treasure” came from this “seven treasures”. This “seven treasures” itself is a “treasure”. On the other hand, in most of the references, the origin of “full of treasure” is often attributed to “eight treasures” and “Miscellaneous treasure”. As a historical background, there may have been “seven treasures” before “eight treasures”. It’s just a guess, and it doesn’t seem to be finalized.

中国の「八宝」「雑宝」Chinese “eight treasures” and “miscellaneous treasures”


In China, eight Buddhist accessories are designated as “eight treasures ” as auspicious treasures based on Buddhist scriptures from the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is almost the same idea of “eight treasures” auspiciousness.

Treasure name
種類 kinds特徴 characteristicお宝ポイント
Treasures points
Wheels carrying the Buddha
It rotates without interruption and does not stop
Longevity and things go smoothly
2法螺貝(ほらがい)Conch shell右巻きの巻貝→穴をあけ笛として使用
Right-handed conch shell → Use as a whistle with a hole
Make an exquisite and beautiful sound
The sound of victory, the spread of fame, the auspicious sound
Treasure umbrella
The huge umbrella of the Buddha
Freely open and close at the will of the Buddha
Protects all living things with the power to save them from illness and hunger
4白蓋(びゃくがい)White lid白い蓋
White lid
Cover the vast world
Spread of Buddhist teachings, victory
Lotus flower
Lotus flower
Beautifully blooms from deep mud without being dyed by mud
Symbol of cleanliness
Treasure bottle
A bottle of Amrita that brings prosperity and immortality
get the honeydew by following the teachings of the Buddha.
Prosperity and immortality
Two goldfish called twin fish
Wise and lively fish
Reject wickedness
8盤長(ばんちょう)Bancho紋様 Pattern結び目がなく、回環一切
no knot, all the circles
Longevity, harmony, outlook


This “eight treasures” is said to have been drawn on various crafts in China. And, various treasures other than “eight treasures” may be combined and used as a pattern, and it seems that other than “eight treasures” was called “Miscellaneous treasure”.


“Miscellaneous treasure” is famous as an auspicious pattern that can be seen in many Chinese porcelain jars and picture plates. It seems that many of these “miscellaneous treasures” were first drawn on the ceramics that came from China to Japan.

「雑宝」”Miscellaneous treasure”

宝物名 Treasure name種類 kinds理由 reason
1珊瑚(さんご)Coral珊瑚礁 coral reef稀少価値 Rare value
2丁子(ちょうじ)Cloveハーブの一種 A kind of herb稀少価値 Rare value
Pattern: The original necklace is made by stacking two rhombuses side by side.
Symbol of infinity
4繍球(しゅうきゅう)Embroidery ball七宝紋様:獅子が戯れる球
Shippo pattern: A ball where a lion plays
It is believed that a lion cub will be born, and a happy pattern
Pattern: Derived from using animal horns for cups
Rare value / celebration
6火焔宝珠(かえんほうじゅ)Flame Jewel宝珠が燃え上がる様子
How the Jewel burn
You can freely put out what you want
A pattern with money as a pattern
A prayer for wealth
A type of currency
Hope to increase your fortune and form your fortune


There are eight types of “miscellaneous treasures”, from “treasure” itself to those that are auspicious such as patterns. In China, the belief in numbers spread in the original era. The number “8” was preferred because it is similar in pronunciation to the Chinese words for “prosperous business,” “profit,” and “get rich.”


In Japan, “8” is said to be auspicious because the Chinese character Kanji “eight” is “spreading”.

日本の「宝」Japanese “treasure”


Just as China decides “treasure”, it seems that Japan decided “treasure” by replacing it with Japanese style. Excerpts from Chinese “eight treasures” and “Miscellaneous treasures” and those unique to Japan are included.


In Japan, where “eight treasures” and “Miscellaneous treasures” were introduced from China, it is said that the “full of treasure” was created as an auspicious pattern from the end of the Muromachi period. It seems that there were some differences in what is called “treasure” for each era and place, but it seems that the “treasure exhaustion” pattern that collected “treasure” was greatly liked in the Edo period. In China, there were only eight “treasures” and “Miscellaneous treasure”, but in Japan it seems that they called it “full of treasure” and mentioned a lot.


Especially in the Edo period, it is said that peaceful times were long, so it is not clear whether it was the result of Taoism or the living of Taoism, but it is said that there were many things that emphasized magic and auspiciousness.

「宝尽くし」文様の「宝」”Treasure” of “full of treasure” pattern


I will list the “treasure” drawn in the “full of treasure” pattern.


★ There are differences in regions and times in each “full of treasure” pattern, and some are not drawn in all “full of treasure patterns”.

  1. 宝珠 (ほうじゅ)Sacred gem
  2. 隠れ蓑(かくれみの)Raincoat of invisibility
  3. 隠れ笠(かくれかさ)Hat of invisibility
  4. 宝袋(ほうたい)Treasure pouch
  5. 打出小槌(うちでのこづち)Magic mallet
  6. 宝巻(ほうかん)Sacred Scrolls
  7. 宝鍵(ほうやく)Sacred key
  8. 宝瓶(ほうへい)Sacred vase
  9. 方勝(ほうしょう)Lucky lozenges
  10. 七宝(しっぽう)Shippo
  11. 丁字・丁子(ちょうじ)Clove
  12. 橘(たちばな)Tachibana
  13. 根引き松(ねびきまつ)Plucked pine sprout
  14. 分銅(ぶんどう)Weight

宝珠 (ほうじゅ)Sacred gem(Jewel)

東京国立博物館所蔵 蒔絵櫛 Maki-e comb from the Tokyo National Museum


“Jewel (hoju)” is originally one of the esoteric teaching tools. It is also called “nyoi-hoju”.


The upper part is a pointed bead (tama), and the flame is drawn as if it is burning from the tip and both sides. It is said that if you get a “jewel”, you will be able to fulfill any wishes and create whatever you want. And there is a legend that if you get a “jewel”, you will not be poisoned, you will not be burned by fire, and you will be able to escape from disasters. There was no reference that explains why it was drawn with flames, but I think it is an expression of a pearl that cannot be burned by fire.


Some patterns do not have a fire drawn on them.


It is also one of the “miscellaneous treasures” in China, and this treasure is drawn as it is without arranging it in a Japanese way.


Among Buddhism, it is also said to be the property of Buddhas such as Jizo Bodhisattva, Koku Bodhisattva, and Nyoirin Kannon. The Buddha statue of Senju Kannon is always drawn with a jewel.

伊勢神宮の宇治橋 Uji Bridge at Ise Jingu


The shape of this jewel(hoju), like an onion, like a peach, is so cute, but it’s not limited to the full of treasure patterns, but in fact, it seems to be something you often see in Japan without noticing it. It is always near the sacred statue of Buddha, and it has this shape on the pagoda, the top of the pagoda, and the parapet of the bridge. This seems to come from the “jewel(hoju)”.

隠れ蓑(かくれみの)Raincoat of invisibility


In Japan, there is a legendary creature called “tengu” that has been handed down in folk beliefs since the Heian period.


The way “tengu” is handed down varies depending on the region, such as the mountain god and youkai.


The treasure that the tengu has is the “Raincoat of invisibility”.


This “Raincoat of invisibility” is a treasure item that you can hide when you wear it.

隠れ笠(かくれかさ)Hat of invisibility


The “Hat of invisibility” is similar to the “Raincoat of invisibility” and can be hidden by wearing it, making it invisible to humans.


東京国立博物館所蔵浮世絵よりFrom Ukiyo-e in the Tokyo National Museum

It is also a property of the tengu, and the Hat itself has been in Japan since the Heian period. It is often depicted in Ukiyo-e paintings from the Edo period, and even in old Japanese stories, it is often worn by grandfathers. It’s rarely seen in modern Japan, but I think Japanese people are familiar with it.


Jizo-san also wears it as the word “Kasa Jizo” is used.


Like the “Raincoat of invisibility,” it is a treasure that “hides and protects you from disasters.”


I think that “Raincoat of invisibility” and “Hat of invisibility” are treasure items that have been inherited and considered in Japanese folk beliefs.

宝袋(ほうたい)Treasure pouch

東京国立博物館蔵 宝尽くし蒔絵櫛よりFrom the Tokyo National Museum Collection Full of treasure pattern Makie Comb


A “treasure pouch” is a drawstring bag containing treasures and fragrances.


It is a treasure that has the power to be “blessed with wealth and wealth.”

熊手の中にも「宝袋」を発見!I found a “treasure pouch” in the Rake (Kumade)!


Since it is a drawstring bag containing treasure, it is often drawn with high-quality textiles.


The “drawstring bag” that has been active since the Edo period is now a “wallet” or a small “bag”. Nowadays, I think that the cloth drawstring bag can hold so much valuables. At that time, I think it was a must-have item when going out and was important.


What is a rake decoration? .. ..
A rake of farm equipment is packed with lucky charms and displayed in the hope of prosperous business and good luck. It is said that the autumn harvest festival of the Edo period began in the wake of the auspicious "collecting fortune".

打出小槌(うちでのこづち)Magic mallet


“Magic mallet” appears in the story of “Issun-hoshi” in “Otogi-zoshi” in the Muromachi period. In the story, when the demon has this “Magic mallet” and exterminates the demon, the demon will drop it.


It is a treasure item that when you chant and shake this “Magic mallet”, the wish will appear.


Eventually, this “Magic mallet” was equated with Daikokuten’s belongings, and the launching gavel and the rat used to be used were also represented on the Daikokuten statue. It seems that the background from the demon’s belongings to Daikokuten’s belongings has not been clarified. However, by appearing together with Daikokuten, the god of the Seven Lucky Gods, which is famous even in modern times, it has become a treasure item that is easy to see even in the pattern of treasure.

宝巻(ほうかん)Sacred Scrolls


“Sacred Scrolls” is a scroll with a thankful sutra written on it.


It seems that this scroll was the mainstream in Japan during the Nara and Asuka periods. However, since it is difficult and inconvenient to read scrolls from the middle, they have been in booklet since the Heian period.


In the olden days, books were very valuable and awe-inspiring subjects. The scrolls with sutras and mysteries written on them are so valuable that they are incomparably more valuable than they are now, and they seem to have been truly “treasures.”


Nowadays, information is overflowing as a matter of course, and we are in an era where we can learn as much as we want to learn, and the value of “wisdom” is diminishing. It is a treasure that reminds us that “wisdom” is a “treasure”.

宝鍵(ほうやく)Sacred key


The key to open the place where the treasure is stored, such as the treasure chest or warehouse, is called the “Sacred key”.


It is a treasure item that leads to good fortune. “Keys” have always been an important item.


Since the shape of the old key is different from the shape of the current key, it may be a pattern that you cannot understand unless you teach it the key.

宝瓶(ほうへい)Sacred vase


I think the “Sacerd vase” is the same as that of the Chinese “eight treasures”.


This treasure is an item that may or may not be drawn in Japanese full of treasure patterns, depending on the pattern. The newer the era, the less drawn the item.


It may be drawn in the form of a bottle in a bag. It is said to be a vessel for storing treasure and happiness.


In esoteric Buddhism, there is a ritual called “Kanjo” that certifies that you have reached the level of enlightenment by pouring water on your head, and the bottle that holds the water is also called a “treasure bottle.”

方勝(ほうしょう)Lucky lozenges


It is the same as one of the “miscellaneous treasures” in China, and is a “rhombus pattern”.


It is said to be an auspicious pattern that means “infinity” without an end. I was investigating if there was anything else, but all of them(references) had a description only of the auspicious pattern, and I couldn’t find out what was auspicious.


I will update it as I find additional information.



The Shippo pattern, which is familiar in Japan, is a pattern in which circles or ellipses of the same size are stacked in quarters.

江戸小紋の七宝文様 Shippo pattern of Edo Komon


It is said that the word “Shiho”, which means that the circle spreads in all directions, has changed to “Shippo”. The relationship with China’s “seven treasures” is unknown.


Since the circles are piled up forever, it is said to be an auspicious auspicious pattern such as “harmoniousness, ties, and harmony.”


I think that you can often see it in patterns that are often used even in modern times.



“Clove” is a fragrant flower bud, and dried ones are used for spices and medicinal herbs.


In the olden days, plants used for medicinal herbs were considered valuable, so they seem to be one of the treasure items.


In the Edo period, when there weren’t as many medicines as there are now, “clove” is also used as a pain reliever for teeth. It was also added to the Heian period medicine ball (kusudama) to dispel evil spirits from its scent.


During the Warring States period, man used to burn the scent of cloves into his helmet and rub clove oil on his hair.


Historically, it seems to have been an indispensable scented plant in Japanese life.



“Tachibana” is said to be a fruit tree that grows in the utopia of immortality.


It is a fruit tree that appears in “Nihon Shoki”, “Kojiki”, and “Manyoshu”. In “Nihon Shoki”, it is useful as a fruit that brings eternal prosperity. In modern times, it seems to refer to a wild tree of the Rutaceae family called “Yamato Tachibana”. It is unknown whether there was an original species in Japan from ancient times.


Tachibana flowers have been used as a pattern since the Heian period. At the Kyoto Imperial Palace, it is planted in pairs with cherry blossoms. In fact, along with cherry blossoms, it is a plant that has been loved by Japanese people for a long time. Today, it is also the motif of the Order of Culture.

根引き松(ねびきまつ)Plucked pine sprout


As the name suggests, “Nebikimatsu” is a pine tree that has been pulled out from the roots in the hope of longevity.


It is also known as the “Kadomatsu” that is displayed on New Year’s Day. It is said that it started when the aristocrats brought back Komatsu saplings and displayed them in the mansion during the Heian period.


★ Pine roots are attached → Rooted


It is said that the wishes “to get your feet on the ground” and “to keep growing” are also included.


Even today, “Nebikimatsu” is used to make New Year’s decorations to welcome Toshigami.



A “weight (Bundo)” is a weight used when measuring the weight of an object.


A beautiful weight with a circular constriction on the left and right is often drawn.This shape is said to be from the Edo period.


It is made of precious metals such as iron and brass, and in the old days it was exchanged based on the weight of the object.


It is said that the old shogunate stored gold and silver in the form of weights. In other words, the weight was a treasure.


The weight pattern seems to have been a symbol of “wealth and goods”. For such historical reasons, the mark of Japanese banks is the shape of this weight.


I think there are some “full of treasure” patterns that haven’t been posted yet, but since it has become quite long, I’ve listed some typical ones. These “full of treasure” patterns are often drawn together with animals and plants that represent auspicious things such as cranes, turtles, and Shochikuume(Pine bamboo plum).


It seems that treasures are universal, but the values of treasures differ from time to time and from person to person.


It may be different not only depending on the times but also on the age of living people. Even if it is a treasure when you are a child, it is often not a treasure when you grow up. However, the time to dream of treasure is quite fun.


It may be one of the wisdoms of the thinking circuit in the Edo period, when people were lucky to make things around them and always try to live positively.

参考文献 References

  • 岩崎治子『日本の意匠事典』.岩崎美術社,1984
  • 弓岡勝美『着物文様事典いろは 弓岡勝美コレクション』.PIE,2010
  • 形の文化会『にほんのかたちをよむ事典』.工作舎,2011
  • 海野弘『日本の装飾と文様』.PIE,2018
  • 筧菜奈子『日本の文様解剖図鑑』.(株)エクスナレッジ.2019
  • 青人社編『日本の文様』.PIE,2013
  • 染めの里 二葉苑『江戸小紋柄図鑑』.(株)スタジオタッククリエイティブ,2009


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