This May, I visited Japan again to continue on one side, my projects in Rikuzentakata and, on the other side, to make the firsts step in supporting the traditional textile industry in Japan which is highly threatened.
With Nobuyoshi Araki for Tohoku
My dear friend and photographer Nobuyoshi Araki is recently taking pictures of the sky towards the north. He is impressed by the the collaboration with the women in Rikuzentakata. I gave him a pin cushion as a present and he was very fond of it. Thank you Akaki-san for your lovely support!
Drive to Rikuzentakata
Thank you Mrs Kanno for picking me up from the trainstation and driving me to Rikuzentakata. We had a wonderful chat during the drive.
Rikuzentakata under construction
This time, the achievements in rebuilding the new city of Rikuzentakata were clearly visible. They built a giant conveyor belt to transport earth to the place, where the new city will be built up. In memory of the great earthquake, they are not going to break down a big destroyed building in Rikuzentacata but leave it there to remember all the victims.
The Tohoku Grandmas prepared a traditional Japanese dish for me. It was delicious!
Visit of a silk chirimen weaving factory and a screen printing manufacture
I visited one of the last remaining silk chirimen weaver based in Nagahama on the lake of Biwa. The owner, Mr Yoshida is aware of traditional weaving techniques. These little white doughnut-shaped ceramics are used as weight to control the silkthreads. This technique is from the Edo period, 300 years ago. The bamboos are very old, too and they’re also based on an ancient traditional weaving technique. Mrs Yoshida and her team are checking the quality of each roll by ey. That is why hama-chirimen is the worlds finest silk for kimono. When I was in Kyoto, I visited a chirimen print supplier and selected some new designs for my upcoming collection. In the screen print manufacture, I’ve seen that all prints are still handmade. They use a special method of handpainting on a hanging cloth with a big brush, though sometimes it is a very precise work.