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Toshiaki Shimomura, Kagayuzen Master

Kagayuzen, a designing and dying technique of kimono, is representative traditional craft of Kanazawa.
Today we interviewed kagayuzen master Toshiaki Shimomura, who are trying to inspire the established tradition with new idea.


– How did you learn to make kimono?
I joined my family’s dyeing kimono fabric business, after graduating from an art college in Kanazawa. I was also interested in designing kimono pattern, a key of kagayuzen, so I apprenticed with a noted kagayuzen master. If you want to work as kagayuzen master, you need a minimum seven-year apprenticeship and must pass the screening.

– Kagayuzen is absolutely beautiful!
Thank you. Kimono can make the women look beautiful. So I always take their heights, weights, skin colors, and ages into consideration, along with their own tastes.


– You accept studio tour, don’t you?
Yes. I have received not only Japanese tourist but also foreign tourist from all over the world. I don’t speak English, but I’m sure we can communicate each other without words. I also offer hands-on class upon request. I think crafting can be the centerpiece of the city’s tourism.

– Can you give us the hint to enjoy Kanazawa more?
Traditional handicraft are prevalent in Kanazawa and some shops offer craft experience. Visitors to Kanazawa should not miss the chance to make your own craft.

(Link)
Toshiaki Shimomura Website:
http://www.yuzen-shimomura.jp/  (Japanese)
Kanazawa Craft Tourism:
http://www.kanazawa-kankoukyoukai.gr.jp/craft-tourism/en/tourism/index.html  (English)