Edo- Komon

Recently, I wore my favorite Edo-Komon kimono which seems to fit autumn. This kimono is red with contrasting density. When I take a close look of it, I can see various delicate patterns just dyed in red. Maple leafs can be seen in this Edo-Komon fabric, which seem that red maple leafs swing in the wind in autumn.

An Edo-Komon dyer, Yasutaka Komitya, one of the Japanese living national treasures, told about the beauty of the fine Edo-Komon pattern, “Now I think that the Edo-Komon pattern should be nothing”. Edo-Komon has transparent beauty with even arrangement of white (pattern color) and ground color (fabric color). Because Edo-Komon pattern is so small, Edo-Komon fabrics seem to have solid color on first glance, but Yasutaka Komitya said “I am trying to exert its originality and ingenuity for ‘nothing’of Edo-Komon dyeing.” I think that his words pointed out the essence of Edo-Komon.

I found his important message about production in the book which shows Kimoya’s words, “Production always needs satisfy the necessities in each of the times”. He said, “My father, Yasusuke Komiya (who was also the Japanese living national treasures) always told me that it was impossible to preserve Edo-Komon and other traditional products unless they became practical. My father took care of old paper stencils very much, but he applied them to actual Edo-Komon dyeing without hesitation”. Obsolete things perish even if they are marvelous. Yasutaka Komitya told that we must try more for applying Edo-Komon to the modern life.

Old people mostly recognized Edo-Komon as conservative and austerely elegant. I think that Edo-Komon is not gorgeous, but smart-looking, and we can casually wear it in our time.

-Reference: “Edo-Komon: Splendid Edo Beauty, Japanese dyeing and weaving 6” published by Tairyu-Sha

This photo shows the Edo-Komon made by Yasutaka Komiya, which was published in the book. It is fallen plum and arabesque pattern.

This photo can be seen in this book. It is clove-shaped, fine sharkshin pattern.

Previously I wrote the blog entry about the stencils of Komon, Ise Katagami: Ise paper stencils. Please also read my old entry at http://blog1.kimonohiro.com/2009/01/ise-katagami-ise-paper-stencils.html.


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