NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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喜多川俵二 Kitagawa Hyouji Hyoji Kitagawa

Jp En

Hyoji Kitagawa (born 1936) is the second son of Heirô Kitagawa, the 17th generation head of the Tawaraya (and holder of this important intangible cultural property). In 1988, he succeeded his father and became the 18th generation head of the Tawaraya.

Kitagawa works for the imperial household as a brocade artisan and is acclaimed for his sophisticated weaving skills. He testified his brilliant techniques to the world when reproducing the ancient Kajyu-Shishi-Jinbutsu-Monaya brocade for the Shosoin repository in Nara. Usig a magnifying glass, he studied the original brocade pattern in great detail to make a thread-by-thread transcript on a cross-section. He accomplished this extremely precise work in only three years.

In 1989, he made complex gauze brocades, such as 'nishiki', 'ra' and 'sha', to be used with votive objects at the Ise Shrine. In 1990, he made the ceremonial costumes 'gosokutai' and 'jyu-ni-tan' for the marriage of prince and princess Akishino, and also for the Emperor's coronation. In 1993, he made wedding costumes for the marriage of crown prince Naruhito to princess Masako.

In 1999, he was honored as a Living National Treasure.
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江戸木目込人形 Edokimekomi-ningyou Edo Kimekomi Dolls

Jp En

Edo Kimekomi Dolls are made in Tokyo and Saitama. They are made by tucking and fixing cloth (usually brocade) costumes to grooves on the doll's body.
   The first doll of this kind is said to have been made by a priest at the Jogamo Shrine in Kyoto, who fixed scraps of cloth to a notched piece of wood.
   After that, kamo-hina dolls spread to Tokyo, where they came to be called Edo Kimekomi. By the end of the Edo period, many dolls of this type were being made.
   The body of the doll is made from toso, which is paulownia powder mixed with wheat starch glue. Then, the body is notched and the costume is fixed to the grooves.
   Edo Kimekomi Dolls have long, lean shapes and fine, delicate features: the contrast with the plumper Kyoto dolls is very interesting.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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