Japan 2018 Shibori Symposium – Post 11 – Tokyo Tower reflected in a nearby building near our hotel—Shiba Park Hotel. One day here to do everything there is to do in Tokyo. We all spread out after Yoshiko gave us tips on where we might like to go.
My first stop today was to the Amuse Museum in the Asakusa area that is well known for its exhibitions on “boro “ — old cloths with patches of rags and scraps of cotton. It was done in northern Japan where cotton was precious and warmer than the hemp cloth that they made. The rags were shipped from the southern regions where the climate was warm enough to grow cotton.
In an exhibit case in the Amuse Museum. Something other than boro but made and used by poor farmers. Guess what they are.
I thought this was very interesting, especially the fins on the bottom.
I’ve been to this museum a few times so I really thought took time this time to read some of the labels. They were touching.
This really moved me. It was at the beginning of the boro section.
Japan 2018 Shibori Symposium – Post 9 – (Facebook + email readers must view the videos on my website – just click the link) This woman was dressed in the stage for us on stage at a reception for our last night in Nagoya. This would be the dress for a very high up person indeed. It was fascinating to see how each layer was added. The model only moved her eyes for the 20or 30 minutes it took for to women to dress her—one on front on her knees and one in back putting on the layers. Both worked together to get everything arranged perfectly.
Here you can see her from the side. Perhaps you can count the kimonos that she has on. Every sleeve had to be tucked as a arch layer was added. I forget how many kilos we were told the outfit weighed but she could walk around on the stage. No on was to see her face; that’s why it’s covered.
Here is a 1 minute video showing the women adding a kimono and how the sleeves are put in place.
This performance was at the reception. Notice the puppet moving and the person manipulating it underneath it.
This big arrangement had a puppet on top and you can barely see its arm is moving. All the action (slow and subtle) was controlled by the group of men below.
Here’s a bride and groom all dressed traditionally along with our previous aristocrat. It was a lovely show. The bride and was the climax after 10 or so lovely women in gorgeous kimono modeled on stage.
Shibori Symposium – Day 1 (Facebook Viewers – Go to my blog to see the videos) – I led a group of us on the train to Nagoya to see an utterly fantastic museum. Toyota originally was a loom making company. Old looms complete with guides/weavers to work them are there and it’s totally wonderful.
This old loom was run by peddling. It was great to have guides hanging around to run the various looms and explain how they work.
Mr Toyoda got the idea uto motorize a bicycle in 1930 which led him to make his first car in 1933. 1936 was when he made his first passenger car.
Here robots are seen at work. This was so fascinating.
Getting an old power loom going. Wait until it gets started and notice all the pulleys in the museum. Each one ran a loom. Notice too the metal things going up and down slightly behind the shafts. If a thread breaks it’s metal piece will fall down and break the connection and stop the loom. Now I understand why videos need editing! The stuff is truly interesting but making a video of it is hard to keep in mind where the camera is. Or to remember to stop the video.
Be patient a little then you will see how a modern power loom used forced air to move the weft across. The weft thread is red in the video. There are several air jets across the loom that continuously force the weft along. Again at lightening speed. Air is used for cotton weft threads and water for weaving with polyester. Interesting isn’t it?
This close up shows how a power loom today moves the weft between the warp threads by force of water. The display was set up so you could push a button to start the action. The water forces the thread through and the it is cut and the next thread is shot across the warlords. All st lightening speed.
Here’s the jacket–Cathy Cerny and I are sharing it. I have the summer when I go to Japan and Cathy has the fall when her exhibition opens in the fall. After that we’ll dicide how the sharing will go. Neither one of us could bear to part with it.
Here’s a map of where I’ll be for the 11th International Shibori Symposium. I’ll begin around June 23rd or so. Bye for now!
Japan Tour 2018 – Day 21 – A nice ball of fiber made from the bark of linden wood trees. The thread and cloth made from it is called shinafu. I loved the shape of the ball which is wound around the thumb. This one is about the size of a croquet ball. It’s the biggest one I’ve seen. They weighed it to determine the price It was unaffordable. I’d like to make them as sculptures. The thread pulls out from the hole in the center. That will be my post for today. We have to get up early to get to a big flea market in the morning. We went to a small one today. Unfortunately I am still buying stuff that can’t be resisted.
Japan Tour 2018 – Hirosaki – Night Time Storefront Gallery – [to view slideshow click HERE and/or click the first photo below]
A mosaic of night life scenes taken tonight in the town of Hirosaki. Our hotel is in the bar district and many of the door ways and “storefronts” were lovely and/or interesting. There were so many taxis waiting around. Made me think of the Broadway district in San Francisco years ago.
Japan Tour 2018 – Day 15 – We are in the town of Hirosaki which is sashiko country. The cloth is sometimes covered with stitching and sometimes white stitching in vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines. The stitching is done on one or more layers of cloth. Originally it was for mending and later to make cloth heavier for warmth. There are several types of designs and reading about all of this is terribly fascinating. We went to the Hirosaki Koginzashi Institute and saw a lovely collection of old kimonos and patterns.
The Institute is a place where local women bring in sashiko pieces they have been commissioned to stitch. Here are two women having their work checked in and recorded.
The women are given pieces cut carefully one by one by women at the Institute and assigned what designs to stitch at home. There is an enormous inventory there of stitched items to go to shops for retail from little coasters to buttons to larger bags.
This old kimono was once had white stitching on dark blue indigo cloth. After some aging it was completely over-dyed in indigo almost obliterating the intricate stitching pattern.
This is a pattern on a short kimono- like jacket that Cathy and I found in a little dusty antique shop. We are “fighting “ over who gets to have it. I saw it first but we agreed ahead of time if we both wanted the same thing we would flip a coin or negotiate. So we will see what else comes up and decide who gets it. I passionately want to have it. The indigo is a light shade because people couldn’t afford to pay for many dips in the dye to make a darker shade. And it fits me perfectly and is very wearable and the fabric is strong even though it is old. [see some Instagram comments below]
- finniganh Peggy do you think this was done in part using the ikat method?
- tludlowhunter Love it! I’m pulling for you to win !!
- lisascenic I like the way this is both structured and unstructured.
- shiborigirl Love the combo of kasuri, sashiko and indigo!
- peggyoster@finniganh yes there is ikat too
- ysabelladreamer A Solomonic solution, though I am not Solomon, would be to SHARE. It on a weekly monthly or yearly basis. Determine the time set dates and exchange it!!!! It would be the Solomon Ikat short kimono….
- ysabelladreamer I must say it is a wonderfully executed gorgeous Ikat. The star pattern of stitching is extraordinary. It almost looks like a tie die. But you could not do tie-die and ikat on the same fabric, I think …. The shade of indigo is so perfect as an old looking piece. For you who knows so much about textiles, techniques of weaving, the process of indigo, tie dye, embroidery and much more: this is a found “gem” ( i would love to have it too!!!) Since you saw it first, i am rooting for you to have it (Solomonic solutions are puzzling but if you decide on it put it on writing it helps clear the mind) Does Cathy knowledge of textiles rivals yours?
- peggyoster Yes she knows her stuff. Interesting way to settle this – will let you know.
Japan Tour 2018 – Day 14 – Here is today’s loot after going to a flea market and some shops nearby. The large faded purple fabric is the one I pined for yesterday. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. Exhausted and need to get packed to catch a train in the morning. That’s all folks!