Today was my topic day. We started with a trip to Tatsumura Textile Co. and met with its future successor, Tatsumura Amane. Then we visited Ozasa-san, a pattern planner and finally the Okamoto brothers that were the 5th and most likely final silk dyers of their kind.
This whole day was dedicated to getting a rare peek at how an amazing piece of clothing like the obi is created and how many people, days, resources, etc. go into each strand of these clothes. I felt even more excited about my topic especially after seeing with Tatsumura-san and his family have done with this special weaving style called nishiki–ori. Gold and silver are wrapped around silk thread and woven into beautiful patterns. Doesn’t the idea of gold and silver weave sound stunning. I took a few pictures but really nothing does these beautiful pieces justice.
Today gave me a greater appreciation for how striking a kimono is. I’ve only worn one once but the amount of time that was put into me getting every belt tied and everything properly wrapped and fitted made the whole experience feel like…well I’m not sure what can describe it other than the fact that there will never be another moment in my life where I’m standing in a kimono-ya, being dressed in my host mother’s family kimono and made up to just take pictures and gain the experience. I can’t imagine who wove that kimono, or the obi and how long it took to create what I had on. 20 people for all I know could have had input in one piece of the kimono I was wearing and if I hadn’t looked so in-depth into textiles I don’t think I could have appreciated it.