NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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八重山上布 Yeyama-joufu Yaeyama Joufu Fabric

Jp En

Yaeyama joufu (high-quality ramie) fabric is woven on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. The small dark-brown 'kasuri' (scratched) patterns against the white background on this material give a very refreshing look.

In the early 17th century, the Satsuma clan invaded Ryukyu (Okinawa) and imposed taxes on the Okinawans. Many people were made to weave fabric to be sent as tribute to their rulers, hence the development of the Yaeyama joufu technique.

After regulations were abolished at the end of the Meiji period, the craftworkers organized guilds and Yaeyama joufu became a popular cottage industry.

The materials for the ramie and the many kinds of dye are all natural, and are turned into beautiful fabric by the hands and wisdom of the people. The cloth is dried in the May sun and the dyes are fixed by seawater.

Many people love this high-quality ramie because it suits the subtropical climate: it is refreshing and light enough to to let air pass through.
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黒谷和紙 Kurotaniwashi Kurotani Japanese Paper

Jp En

Since early times, Kurotani (today's Ayabe district, in Kyoto prefecture) has been blessed with paper-mulberry plants and the pure waters of the Kurotani River, both of which are essential for the production of Japan's famous paper ('washi').
   Kurotani washi has been manufactured for a thousand years since the Heian period. It is believed that fleeing Heike warriors invented the paper, bequeathing the tradition to future generations.
   During the Edo period, Kurotani washi was recognized for its quality and evolved as a cultural artefact as well as a cottage industry. As a result, many factories were established and flourished. Later in the Edo period, sericulture prospered and the demand for paper using silk threads increased.
   In the Showa period, with the development of machine-based technologies and the widespread use of Western papers, the demand for washi diminished. Today, Kurotani is known worldwide for its paper.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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