Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Ancient Villages in Japan

A few days back I flew to the backside of Japan with Takeshima and Ishii sans to look at some textile related places near the most ancient area of Japan.  Izumo in Shimane prefecture.We rented a car and drove to local historical sites.....1600 years of continuous history. I was dumbstruck at the depth and breadth of the history.

We visited a woman who had grown up in Tokyo and wanted to live in the countryside. She married a guy from the deep countryside  whose mother was a weaver. They have a beautiful old house and several other barns and studios. They grow cotton she spins and dyes with indigo and weaves.

Click the pictures to see up close.

The studio was full of looms. There was a carpet loom that the granddaughter is weaving on. Such peaceful lives.

She has four indigo vats in the ground and throws in a bucket of sawdust in the space in between them and lights that. The smouldering wood keeps the vats warm enough to ferment for a few days at a tine.

This is the cauldron she uses to boil the sizing off the thread before dyeing.

She filters boiling water through the ash to get her alkaline solution to ferment the indigo.


  1. what a wonderful opportunity. You must have been in heaven. More ideas for Leafy Tails!

  2. fantastic, wonderful old rug loom, what a magical place.

  3. I love this story of wandering. And she sounds like a "skinsister" to me!

  4. it all looks so easy and spiritually organic. easy we know it's not. regarding the second statement....