I heard that there was a firework at Sumida River the other day. I am from Tokyo and it is familiar firework for me. When I was a child, I saw firework from my parent friend’s house. Adults had drinking party at second floor and children enjoyed firework from the 1st floor roof. It was good time for me but now I think it is really dangerous to sit on the roof.
We can imagine Yukata when we think about Firework. And when it comes with Yukata we can imagine NAGAITA. NAGAITA is one of the dying techniques. Long time ago, NAGAITA remind people Yukata.
This year, I made Yukata from old NAGAITA fabric. You may see the Yukata from the picture. When we see this Yukata, you may notice both sides of the fabric dyed. This shows that the fabric dyed with traditional dying technique “NAGAITA”.
Traditional Tokyo style (some people call “Edo style”.), NAGAITA-CHUGATA has fine pattern and it is beautiful like KOMON. So people likened it to KOMON-CHUGATA. You may see how fine pattern it is from the picture.
The book which I read about NAGAITA indigo dyeing says NAGAITA indigo dyeing has 4 steps.
“KATAZUKE” Put the white fabric on the NAGAITA. Then put the pattern paper and starch preservative-glue. They do this work both side of the fabric. Both sides patterns must fit exactly.
“SHITAZOME” To dye the fabric beautifully, brush on beans juice to the fabric.
“AIZOME” After rinsing fabric in AIBIN(Indigo bottle), they do KAZEKIRI. “KAZE” means “wind” and “KIRI” means like “sail in”.
“MIZUMOTO” Wash the fabric with water and dry it at drying space. They do final KAZEKIRI.
The third step “AIZOME” needs proficient skills. If KAZEKIRI is less then successful, they cannot dye the fabric evenly. The book introduces indigo dyeing craftsman Kinichiro Noguchi’s words.
“In the eyes of dyeing craftsman, it is difficult to dye texture evenly whether it has fine pattern or not. Because it is easy to find out uneven texture, even if it is really small.”
It is important to show the texture beautifully if you want to show pattern beautifully. It reminds me of Rikyu Sen’s poem,
“If you are thinking to use right hand, you must notice that your heart is to your left side.”
I think the people who master something have common sense. They are saying that you may see the essence not from the main point but from the point where we do not pay attention. It is not simple but we should think about it.
“Indigo is breathing”
I came up against this words many times.
I learned “Indigo is breathing” from Mr. Noguchi’s work and begin to realize how to deal with indigo dyeing Yukata.
Mr.Noguchi says, “I recommend not to wear Indigo dying Yukata first year.” The reason for this is to avoid color staining.
“People in the old time knew about this so they bought their next year Yukata this year.”
The real indigo dyeing is considered “The more we wear the more tasteful it become. The more we wash the more beautiful it become.”
I thought this year I finally find the Yukata which I can enjoy it for a long time.
“Buying Yukata for the next year.” I thought it is munificence in these hectic days.
The other day, Ms.Amano who runs a Yukata wholesaler “SANKATSU”, visited NY. I had a tea with her. We spend short time but it was really good time for me. “SANKATSU” take over NAGAITA-CYUGATA living national treasure Kotaro Shimizu.
You may see the details of SANKATSU at following site.