NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/6/14


筒描藍染 Tsutsugaki-aizome Tsutsugaki Aizome (Tsutsugaki Indigo Blue Dyeing)

Jp En

The furoshiki (wrapping cloths) made in the Izumo, Matsue and Yonago areas of Shimane Prefecture are designated as traditional hometown handicraft.

Before the Meiji period, there were aizome indigo dyers across the nation, however, around 1917 (Meiji 40), chemical dyeing had become popular. By 1950, of the 59 tsutsugaki aizome dyers in Izumo, only 4 remained. Today, only one tsutsugaki aizome dyer remains in Nagata, which is recognized by the prefecture as an  intangible cultural asset.

Tsutsugaki aizome with a family crest were used as  trousseau items up untilthe Taisho period. Furoshiki wrapping cloths were also included in trousseaus.

Making the tsutsugaki aizome requires repetition in dyeing. During the dyeing process, the patterns on the aizome are protected by paste, which is later washed off in the Takase River.
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2007/1/30


小宮康孝(人間国宝) Komiya Yasutaka Yasutaka Komiya (Living National Treasure)

Jp En

Yasutaka Komiya was born in 1925. In 1978, he was designated a Living National Treasure for his work in 'Edo-komon' dyeing.

His family was in the dyeing business and had a factory. When he graduated from elementary school, he was apprenticed to his father, Kosuke (also a Living National Treasure), from whom he gained a strong grasp of dyeing techniques.

Through his training, he realized that he should study more about paper patterns and dye in order develop his skills. His efforts paid off and he became accomplished in colored komon dyeing, in which patterns are dotted as finely as fog.

It is said that Komiya is the best Edo-komon artist and everyone who likes tea knows his name. But he is modest, saying, 'it is impossible to make good komon-dyeing by my power alone'. He says that by working together with other fine craftsmen, such as paper-pattern-makers, that he is able to achieve the excellent quality he does.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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