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Hanae Mori saw women's success, Japan's revival in butterfly motif

Trailblazing designer led way for Japanese fashion's international acclaim

Hanae Mori with her granddaughter Izumi Mori at the finale of a fashion show in Paris in July 2004. (Getty Images)

TOKYO -- Hanae Mori's butterfly designs, beloved around the world, embodied ardent wishes of the fashion designer, who died at age 96 at her Tokyo home on Aug. 11. One was to show that an independent woman could find success. Another was to restore the honor of Japan, which had become a defeated and undervalued country.

The opportunity to work overseas came in 1961, when she made her first trip to Europe and the U.S. She had worked on costumes for many movies, including "Season of the Sun," "The Love Story of Ginza" and "Late Autumn," while also raising her children, and had grown tired of work.

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