Dear Newsletter readers,
Hello, this is Mari.
Some of you may wear kimono for Halloween, right?
Enjoy your trick or treat in Kimono!
On the other day, I visited Keisuke Serizawa Museum in Shizuoka. Mr. Keisuke
Serizawa (1895-1984) was a dyeing artisan who was designated as a Living National
Treasure by the Japanese government for his "KATAZOME" stencil dyeing technique.
Ichiro has showed us a book of his works a couple of years ago. I was fascinated
by his tasteful "KATAZOME" works. I loved the vivid color, dynamic layout,
detailed pattern, and so on. Ever since then, I always wanted to see his works in
This time, I finally made it.
Keisuke Serizawa Museum Website
The great thing about his works is that they are made for practical purpose. When
I visited there, "Noren" (a kind of curtain) exhibision was held. Many of the
"Noren" were donated by the original owners like a local Kimono shop, a noodle
restaurant and common households.
As you see, his works are very unique and impressive. He dyed kimono and obi
fabrics, too. His works have been appreciated as art. At the same time, they are
all practical, and really used in daily lives of ordinaly people.
We can still buy items of he designed like "Tenugui"(Japanese hand towel),
"Furoshiki"(wrapping cloth) and "Noren" etc. That is the great thing about
"Katazome"(stencil-dyed). As long as there are stencil papers he designed, we can
dye things with them.
There is his house next to the museum. It is opened to the public only on Sundays
and public holidays. I loved his house, too! It is a very simple, old style
Japanese wooden house with tasteful and minimal furnitures and folk craft. He said
"My house is ordinary like a farmer, and healthy like a farmer." The words
represent his house and his philosophy very well. I want to live in the house like
that one day.
Although Mr. Serizawa's works are too rare to find now a days, we still have very
tasteful "Katazome"(stencil-dyed) items. Enjoy!