Monday, August 24, 2009

shibori with a story behind.

This sample from my collection comes with a story.i will refrain from qualifying it and leave that up to you.
When i was in Japan in 1994 i visited Sensei and she invited me to stay overnight as she lives in Hachioji. The town although it is 40 kms from Shinjuku station in Tokyo, is still considered Tokyo!

She lives in a traditional Japanese house behind her brother's modern occidental house and surrounded by a bamboo forest and of course some momijis.
There are two rooms in the house, one that serves as general purpose living space and studio, with her loom and her bedroom. A tiny kitchen and even tinier bathroom complete the house.
When she wants to cook for real, or soak in the o furo she goes to her brother's and uses his facilities.

That night she she treated us to a delicious yosenabe and she even took the trouble to go to Kinokuniya and get wine for me.
We laughed and talked and had a small show and tell . She was going to have her yearly woven kimono exhibit some weeks after and i promised not to miss it by any means. At that time my Japanese was pretty pedestrian, barely survival, so my friend Atsuko was working overtime translating for me whenever Sensei switched to Japanese to fully explain something.

At some point she pulled out a silk kimono covered with kanoko shibori and dyed with akane . i sat on the tatami in awe examining it. Yards and yards of hand bound kanoko patterning the surface with flowers, fowing streams and leaves and creating that wonderful puckered surface.i just couldn't take my eyes from it. After a while she carefully folded it between tissue papers and and put it away.
Two bottles of wine later we decided to call it a night and started clearing the space to extend the futons.

Next morning when i woke up and opened my eyes the first thing i saw was the kimono hanging on the window in front of my futon.
Sensei then told me that as i had liked it so much she wanted it to be the first thing that i saw next morning.
And as i was leaving she slipped a wrapped packet in my hand
which later i found out it contained a sample of the fabric.
Atsuko, watashi wa and Sensei at the exhibit, one of her woven kimonos behind us.
God how young i was!

neki desu

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  1. WOW, that is a nice story!

    PS you are still young.

  2. i like these kinds of fabric stories. what a treasure.

  3. Incredible fabric, lovely story.

  4. I don't know which is more beautiful, the story or the fabric

  5. Really amazing shibori and I did enjoy the story also.

  6. Thank you for sharing this story. Reading it makes me sad because I know it will never be in me to be that generous.


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