Yusoku Weaves are the techniques of weaving used for fabrics for the ancient formal clothing in Japan. Yusoku patterns are created by the weaving techniques including nishiki (Japanese brocade), aya (twill weaving), uki-ori (float weave), futae-ori (double technique brocade), and sha (silk gauze). These techniques, taking twists and turns, have been handed down up to the present time, used in the clothing for imperial ceremonies, shrine priests’ ceremonial costumes, Buddhist priests’ gowns, and Shinto shrines’ sacred treasures. The fascination of Yusoku Weaves lies in their beautiful colors as well as in their enchanting woven patterns. Hyoji Kitagawa (1936-), a recognized authority on Yusoku Weaves, was designated as the holder of National Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure) in 1999. He was born as the second son of Heiro Kitagawa, who was also a designated Living National Treasure and the head of Tawaraya in Kyoto, an old and established weaving shop in Nishijin, Kyoto. Hyoji succeeded his father as the 18th-generation head of Tawaraya in 1988. His skills and techniques are highly evaluated, and up to now, he has made textiles for a lot of imperial ceremonies including the coronation ceremony of Emperor Heisei and the marriage ceremony of Prince Akishino. Thinking of making Yusoku Weaves popularized to the general public, he has now energetically engaged in making kimono obi (sash).
- Yusoku Weaves