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24 May 2022
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Tartan Details - Puccini's Madama Butterfly

The information held within The Scottish Register of Tartans for the "Puccini's Madama Butterfly" tartan is shown below. 

Reference: 10814
Designer: Sim, Steven Patrick
Tartan date: 05/06/2012
Registration date: 18 April 2013
Category: Fashion
Restrictions: Yes. The tartan is designed and owned by Steven Patrick Sim - The Tartan Artisan ® - Copyright © 2013. All weaving, tailoring, and commercial use is managed by the designer. Contact Steve regarding use at: [email protected], or use the email below.


UK IPO Registered Design No. 6104317.
Registration notes: The tartan commemorates Giacomo Puccini's heart-breaking opera Madama Butterfly. Designed with Japanese inspired geometry, it applauds the opera, a doomed love story set in a Japanese villa by Nagasaki at the turn of the century. The tartan acknowledges over 100 years of performances, portraying the tragic tale of Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly), a beautiful young Geisha bride who commits suicide after betrayal and abandonment by her husband a US naval lieutenant temporarily stationed in Japan. Released in 1907, the opera has been associated with the famous Scottish merchant Sir Thomas Blake Glover. Born in Fraserburgh, Glover was a key figure in the industrialisation and modernisation of Japan, and his common law marital relationship with the Japanese woman Awajiya Tsuru is said to have been the inspiration for Madama Butterfly. Written by US author John Luther Long the story was later adapted as Puccini's famous opera. Glover eventually became the most famous foreigner in Japan, known as the Scottish Samurai, and died in Tokyo 13th December 1911 age 73. Puccini's statue can be found in Nagasaki's Glover Garden along with that of Japan's most famous opera singer Tamaki Miura who won international acclaim for her performances as Madama Butterfly. The colours and geometry represent both the Geisha and the Japanese Cherry Blossom - Black, White and Red together represent the traditional colours of the Geisha; black for the hair, white for the powdered skin, red for the painted lips, (the solid blood red pivot importantly symbolising Butterfly's suicidal death strike). The two pinks with the khaki green portray the withering cherry blossom. In Japanese culture the transient nature of cherry blossom is richly symbolic being associated with mortality. The tartan's theme of doomed love is further represented by Black a funereal colour, yet this is equally balanced with pure White, a colour in Japan known to represent joyful life events. Significantly the tartan recalls a historical industrial relationship between Scotland and Japan.
Registrant details: Mr Steven Patrick Sim, The Tartan Artisan ®, 8a Church Street, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, DD11 1JL
[email protected]
Tartan image: Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Click on this image to see a more detailed version.

Click on the image above to see a more detailed version.

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