Asa (麻) is translated to hemp, and it is native to Japan. Because of its durability and fast growing nature, Asa was one of the main crops in Japan until about 1945. In Japanese culture this Asa pattern was thought to spell out negative energy and thus used as a talisman. It is easy to believe why many Kimono worn by children had this Asa pattern; because there was limited food supply and scarce medical knowledge many children did not survive their infant years. The Japanese hoped for healthy growth for their children by printing the Asa pattern on their Kimono. Today the Asa pattern and fabric is still widely used for Japanese art and summer clothing.