It was a National Day today called Bunka no hi(Culture Day). Many kinds of cultural events and festivals by schools or communities were held on this day.
Also, many artists, writers and musicians are invited to the Imperial Palace to be awarded. Emperor greets each person and awards for their work.
We were shocked to find our favorite singer(Keisuke Kuwata) has been chosen as one of the artists- we thought he was young(we were young!) but actually he became a certain age to be awarded! We never thought about connecting his music and bunka kunsho, the order of Cultural Merit!
Today we like to talk about unknown artists. Maybe it is not appropriate to call them artists but their work are appreciated by families and children.
One of our customer, Mrs, Bambi (this is ner nickname)made this vest(the photo on top). These warm vest are called Denchi, or Denchiko.
She was inspired by patchwork kimono called `Hyakutoku kimono'. Those patchwork kimono have been found in many areas in Japan and called as Hyaku tsugi or Hyakutoku and several other names. Hyaku means a hundred and toku means virtue.
Fabrics have been very precious, so women were taught not to throw away fabrics -even the size is small, if the piece of fabric can wrap three adzuki beans, `never throw away'. That was the lesson and people kept the fabric scraps. Mothers collected fabrics from other people, including old people, people with virtue, healthy people, kind people-collecting fabrics meant collecting people's virtue, they said.
Here is a short video of Kiyoko Sanpei, who is an old textile collector and started making and introducing Hyakutoku kimono.
In her video, she is saying, nuno(fabric) always reminds her of her mother. When her mother died, she received a box of fabric scraps as distribution of mementos. A small piece of fabric canbe thrown away but when they are sewn together and became a bigger piece of fabric and became a kimono, nobody dare to cut, she says, each small piece earn strength by getting together.
Hyakutoku kimono has been made since Edo period, but those ordinary people's work are often forgotton. By Mrs Sanpei (video), many people have been inspired just as Mrs Bambi who made this vest with the fabrics she had. We hope you enjoy the details of her work: