KoLe Shikoku, Japan

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Having Fun with Tradition! Enjoy Summer!

暑中お見舞い申しあげます (SHOCHU-OMIMAI-MOUSIAGEMASU)

Hi, Satoko the curator here. I heard that a lot of places in the world are getting a heatwave this Summer. How are you coping with the heat? The rainy season has ended and  we are getting real Summer-like weather, finally! Summer is the only short time that you can enjoy wearing YUKATA in Japan! So, I decided to go out with my YUKATA and a bit of traditional items last weekend! 

SHIKOKU:

Shikoku is the smallest main island of Japan and that is where we are. It has 4 prefectures, Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime and Kagawa. We are in Kagawa. Each 4 prefectures have different traditional crafts. I feel this island is like a treasure island! Among a bunch of traditional crafts or items made with artisans’ skill available in SHIKOKU, I picked 2 items to accompany my day out.

MARUGAME UCHIWA with AWA SHOU AI SHIJIRA ORI

MARUGAME UCHIWA:

MARUGAME UCHIWA is the fan produced in Marugame City of Kagawa. Marugame is the city I was born and grew up in. They produce 10,0000,000 fans a year. They occupy 90% of the market share. MARUGAME UCHIWA is one of the listed Traditional Crafts of Kagawa.

The MARUGAME UCHIWA I have was finished by certified artisan Ms. Mitani. I picked this one because it has 2 traditional crafts in one fan. One is MARUGAME UCHIWA. The other is textile & dye from TOKUSHIMA.

AWA SHOU AI SHIJIRA ORI:

The cloth part of the fan is actually a traditional craft of Tokushima prefecture. Tokushima is really famous for Japanese Indigo dye. Indigo dye exists in many places in the world. But the plant indigo is different from other parts of the world. Also, the method of dying is unique. So, the blue color of Japanese Indigo Dye is known as “JAPAN BLUE”. SHIJIRA ORI is the way you weave the cloth. These combination of “Japanese Indigo Dye” and “The way of weaving cloth” is “AWA SHOU AI SHIJIRA ORI”.

AWA is the old name for Tokushima. Kagawa was called Sanuki, Kochi was Tosa and Ehime was Iyo.

That lead me to visit TAKAMATSU ART MUSEUM to see the exhibition of “The World of Yukata and Japanese Indigo”.

Wooden Clutch Bag by the certified traditional craft artisan:

This is an item which was made by Takashi Morimoto the our listed artisan. Mr. Morimoto is a certified artisan of “KUDE-SHOUJI” which is one of listed traditional crafts of Kagawa. Using his traditional crafts skill of being a KUDE-SHOJI artisan and a joinery craftsman, he created the modern wooden clutch bag.

Actually, what I have is just a prototype of it and currently he is working on a brushed up version. I hope I can announce when it is done.

YOU HAVE A CHANCE to know how THE LATEST VERSION will LOOK LIKE before the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

The latest version Mr. Morimoto is working on will have wrist strap. The strap is another Japanese traditional crafts. If you would like to know before the official announcement, I am happy to show you! If you like placing order of course you can. If you like previous version, we can arrange that. BUT! YOU DO NOT NEED to place order AT ALL. Let me have a chance to show you what we do and LET ME HEAR WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT!

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