Young kaede leaves in spring
|Seasonal Exceptions||see below for specific details|
Kaede are Japanese maple leaves (Acer palmatum). Another closely associated motif is momiji which refers specifically to maple leaves that have turned color (usually red, but also sometimes yellow or orange).
Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
Momiji are associated with autumn, but green kaede can be associated with spring or other seasons based on other motifs present.
Common Motif Pairings
Momiji on yukata from the collection of Bika Bika
Motif in Literature & Other Usage
Momiji-gari (紅葉狩, maple hunting) in the fall is a similar activity to "leaf peeping" in the United States. There are several plays with the name Momiji-gari, both Noh and kabuki. The general plot is a samurai encounters a beautiful woman who is viewing the maple leaves. She plies him with sake and he falls asleep. When he wakes he discovers the beautiful woman is in fact a hannya, a she-demon. In some versions of the play, the hero then kills the hannya. In others, he is overcome. 
Relevant Threads / Discussions
- Motoji Niwa. Snow, Wave, Pine: Traditional Patterns in Japanese Design. Kodansha International. New York. 2001. p.84.
Authors & Contributors