A Set of Three Semamori Stitches #3: Protective Amulets
Shown here are three paper cards onto each is stitched a single, decorative design called semamori. These cards were used to practice and to catalog semamori designs.
Although decorative, semamori serve a much more intrinsic function when stitched onto a kimono, usually a child's. Semamori is stitched as a wish for protection for the person wearing the kimono; it is an amulet to ward off malice.
Often semamori can be a simplified stitch to the back of a child's kimono or it could be elaborately done as we see on each of the cards. Often the semamori as shown here are used to stitch the tie to the child's kimono, or can be seen on the back, below the nape.
In this case we see pictorial semamori, each one beautifully
realized. The large card shows a symmetrical, linear design, the
centrally placed card shows what appears to be a pine or plant form, and the card on the farthest left
of the group photo shows three interlocking circles done in a chain stitch.