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Summer KIMONO made in snow-country (ECHIGO-JŌFU and OJIYA-CHIJIM

NIIGATA prefecture also called ECHIGO is located in the middle of the archipelago on the Japan Sea side having heavy snow during winter season. Weaving is very popular there so that the prefecture has 2nd largest population in that industry next to KYOTO. Well known KIMONOs such as ECHIGO-JŌFU (越後上布), OJIYA-CHIJIMI (小千谷縮), SHIOZAWA-TSUMUGI (塩沢紬) and …


KOKUJI-TEN (Exhibition for Carving Characters) 

On a fine autumn day around the end of September, I visited at an exhibition for carving characters (KOKUJI-TEN 刻字展) with my clients. Carving works of calligraphy in wood changes it into 3 dimensional art works. In Japan, it is often used as a door plate or signboard.   We also had a lunch at …


KIMONO worn by Tokyo Governor YURIKO KOIKE

During the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics held in August, Japanese team won the most medals it ever could. The medals were mainly won in the events of our country’s specialty: judo, gymnastics, wrestling, badminton and swimming. As Rio is very far from Japan being located almost at the opposite side of the planet, I …


Thoughts about KIMONO in modern age (Part 2)

KIMONO is ultimately eco-friendly  “KIMONO is expensive but ultimately eco-friendly”, this is what I am convinced by working long time in the field of KIMONO. As mentioned in the previous column (Thoughts about KIMONO in modern age (Part 1)), though a KIMONO looked not affordable to you at first, once you decided to spend for …


Thoughts about KIMONO in modern age (Part 1)

4 pleasures of KIMONO KIMONO which is Japan’s national costume. In wearing it, there are surprisingly many points to consider compared to other country’s costumes in the world so that you have to get over lots of hurdles. KIMONO is expensive and it is difficulty to wear first, then we have many rules to take …


TOKYO-ZOME (TOKYO Dyed Goods) – Part 3

In the last two articles (TOKYO-ZOME Part 1 & Part 2) of this KIMONO Colum, I talked about TOKYO-ZOME. The last item of it is “EDO-SARASA” (江戸更紗: EDO’s chintz). It was 400-650 years ago when a chintz was introduced in Japan for the first time by importing from India, Thailand and Indonesia. Afterward, Japanese people …


TOKYO-ZOME (TOKYO Dyed Goods) – Part 2

Last time, we discovered what the TOKYO-ZOME is. Today, I will like to talk about “TOKYO-MUJI-ZOME”. (東京無地染め) “MUJI” means “plain color textile” as I introduced in one of the past article, so “MUJI-ZOME” is “goods dyed in a plain color”. So, here the point I will explain is the colors loved by EDO people. One …

Mankai Mhoncho

TOKYO-ZOME (TOKYO Dyed Goods) – Part 1

“TOKYO-ZOME” (東京染め) is a term describing dyed goods originated in the basin of KANDA River in TOKYO which used to contain great volume of pure water when the TOKYO was called “EDO”. KIMONOs with the patterns like “EDO-KOMON” (江戸小紋: EDO’s small pattern), “TOKYO-MUJI-ZOME” (東京無地染め: plainly dyed goods of TOKYO) and “EDO-SARASA” (江戸更紗: EDO’s chintz) are …


A mysterious encounter with UROKO pattern

The scale pattern, in KIMONO world, is called “UROKO-GARA” formed by combination of several triangles. This is also considered as a pattern against evil influence and also used as a pattern of EDO-KOMON or design for family crests. I have an episode to share with you concerning this scale pattern. I have a friend who …

UROKO Pattern

HAN-ERI (半襟) : Decorative attachable collar  

HAN-ERI is a decorative collar to be sewed on NAGA-JUBAN (long KIMONO underwear, see here for the past article). For KIMONO funs, it is one of the most attractive KIMONO items charmingly being peeped out around a neck. Today, let’s discover what kind of collars are suitable to what kind of KIMONOs ranging from formal …

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