Stenciled warps and wefts (meisen)

From a distance, these designs appear to be round and square hanko, or seals, but upon closer inspection they are abstract cross-hatched designs.

The designer gave each square and circle its own ‘shadow’. Interestingly, no two adjacent shadows fall in the same direction, something hard to imagine happening in real life. The shadow of the square in the upper left hand corner above seems entirely independent of the square itself, so the designer appears to be injecting some playfulness into what might otherwise be a fairly unadventurous design.