Introduction to our Traditional Crafts(1)

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Traditional Crafts

“Tsumugi” (pongee fabrics) from the Murayama-ōshima area
History and Special Characteristics Tsumugi is a type of pongee fabrics, and Murayama-ōshima is an area in Tokyo. By the early 1800s, indigo-colored kimono with white splash patterns were made and named “Murayama-kongasuri.” Murayama-kongasuri was inspired from two different types of splash-patterned kimonos: one with cross signs developed in 1813; another with pound signs developed in 1834. By the mid-Edo period (1700s), a new type of splash-patterned kimono was manufactured and named “Sunagawa Futo-ori.” Futo-ori is fabrics woven with thick threads. The ōshima style of splash patterned kimono got inspirations from Murayama Kongasuri and Sunagawa Futo-ori. In later years, it became to be known as “Murayama-ōshima-tsumugi.”
Principal Sites of Manufacture Musashimurayama City, Mizuho City, and Akishima City
Production Area Associations Murayama Orimono Cooperative Association
Address 2-2-1 Honmachi, Musashimurayama-shi, Tokyo 208-0004
Tel 042-560-0031
Techniques of fine-patterned dyeing
History and Special Characteristics Techniques of fine-pattern dyeing were innovated during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). During the Edo period (1600-1867), factories were established to dye kamishimo (a formal attire of samurai). Dyeing patterns from the Ise area has been used, and the textiles are very refined, monochrome in design, and have detailed geometric patterns.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Shinjuku Ward, Setagaya Ward, Nerima Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo-to Senshoku Kogyo Kyodo Kumiai
Address 3-20-12 Nishi-Waseda Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0051
Tel 03-3208-1521
The center of production of “Kihachijō”
History and Special Characteristics It has been said that Kihachijō, or golden silk textiles, were given from the Hachijo Islands during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). From the middle of the Edo period (1600-1867), stripe-patterned textiles were woven. Later on, a variety of geometric patterns with yellow, reddish brown, and black dyes were woven. Since the 19th century, Kihachijō has attracted widespread popularity and has been used for casual wear.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Hachijo Island
Production Area Associations Kihachijō Fabric Cooperative Association
Address 346-1 Kashidate Hachijyo-machi, Hachijyojima, Tokyo 100-1621
Tel 04996-7-0516
Japanese art dolls (“kimekomi-ningyō”)
History and Special Characteristics Edo art dolls originated from a kind of Kyoto dolls called “kamo dolls.” After creasing on the doll’s body, kimono or whatever outfit that is suitable for the doll is printed on the wood grain. The dolls from Tokyo are thinner than those from Kyoto, both with clean-cut features.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Edogawa Ward, Adachi Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Hina-doll Industry Cooperative Association
Address Tosho Center Building 4th Floor, 2-1-9 Yanagibashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0052
Tel 03-3861-3950
Tokyo Silversmithery
History and Special Characteristics The use of silver has a long history in Japan, with pieces found that date back to the year 916. By the middle of the Edo period the use of silversmithery was widely accepted among ordinary people. At present, Tokyo is a major production center for silversmithery, with products crafted from various methods, including plating, carving and inlays.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Arakawa Ward, Kita Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Gold and Silverware Industrial Cooperative Association
Address 2-24-4 Higashi-Ueno Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0015
Tel 03-3831-3317
“Yuzen-zome” (a method of dyeing silk)
History and Special Characteristics Yuzen-zome is another method to dye silk, and it is said that Yuzensai Miyazaki innovated the method during the Edo period (1600-1867) in Kyoto. During the early 19th century, many dyers who worked under samurai lords moved to the Edo area (Today’s Tokyo). Yuzen-zome’s design is rather conservative, and it is lightly toned with daring designs.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Shinjuku Ward, Nerima Ward, Nakano Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Tokyo Craft Dyeing Cooperative Association
Address 3-21-6 Nakaochiai Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 161-0032
Tel 03-3953-8843
Woven fabrics from the Tama area
History and Special Characteristics Silk has been woven in Hachioji of Tokyo for a long time, and a variety of new methods were innovated in the 1820s. Most of these methods became well established by the 1870s. Textured weaves, pongees, and splash-pattern weaves have unique characteristics with distinctive historical and technical features.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Hachioji City
Production Area Associations Hachiojiorimono Kougyoukumiai
Address 11-2 Hachiman-cho Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-0053
Tel 042-624-8800
“Kumihimo” (braided silk cords)
History and Special Characteristics Kumihimo is a type of craftwork in which silk cords are braided together, and it originated prior to the Edo period (1600-1867). As the demand for armor grew with the establishment of shogunate, more kumihimo were manufactured. It then underwent further development to add exquisiteness. To this day, its sophisticated elegance and austereness are being liked.
Principal Sites of Manufacture Taito Ward, Chuo Ward, Chiyoda Ward, etc.
Production Area Associations Edo Braid Patrimony Association
Address Kiryōdō K. K. 1-27-6 Kiyokawa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0022
Tel 03-3873-2105