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::::: Activity Report: Company Visit “Futaba-en” on October 10th, 2014 :::::

posted Apr 27, 2015, 1:49 AM by Tsubasa Kato   [ updated Apr 27, 2015, 1:50 AM ]
Company Visit “Futaba-en” on October 10th, 2014

On October 10, ICT members Tsubasa Kato (Jojo) and Haruna Yamamoto visited “Futaba-en (dyeing company)” with 10 students from Senshu University, the program “Company Visit” led by Prof. Satoshi Kambara, and we experienced a dyeing class and learned the history of Edo dyed clothing (Edo sarasa and Edo komon) in the workshop.

The artisan working at Futaba-en explained from how to dye Kimono belt (Obi), steam and wash..., watching dyed Obi with detailed patterns and a big steamer. Ochiai (in Shinjuku) is the place along the Myoshoji River, the amount of water is plentiful, so Edo dyers gathered here and made unique dyed Edo sarasa and Edo komon to create beautiful dyed colors. We all made a table mat, using 12 paper patterns “Katagami” to hand print Edo-sarasa. The students each moved a brush gently and soft, and enjoyed dying a mat with their own hands. To make a real Edo sarasa dye, 38 paper stencils must be prepared. The technique of the artisan in using the stencils and carefully dying with a brush is what gives the clothing its depth.

After dyeing experience, we moved to a comfortable tatami room, Mr. Kobayashi (the owner) told us Edo komon, which began with the dying of the kamishio (the traditional dress of those born into a Japanese samurai family), not creating showy and pompous patterns but with good quality colors in the midst of full-fledged Edo culture (not allowed wearing luxury kimono by strict laws). And also he said that Kimono was very practical for dying many times if you change colors and patterns, showing elegant and stylish Kimono belts (Obi).

We were so lucky to have a great chance to touch and feel a dyeing industry! And we hope that the traditional techniques that reflects the spirit and hearts of Edo dyers take over to future generations, and spread it to the world!

A big thank you for Mr. Kobayashi and artisans for all the preparation, and we also say thank-you to Prof. Satoshi san for making a special chance to join the workshop with your wonderful students!


Written by Tsubasa Kato (Jojo)