Sashiko is a painstaking, time-consuming hand-stitching craft. Soetsu Yanagi, the leader of the “mange" folk craft movement in Japan in 1930’s, developed a weaving machine to create sashiko fabrics called “Yanagi-style sashiko,” and encouraged women to learn the craft of sashiko in order to become financially independent. Also it helped Sashiko grow to the level of profession, and become very popular as textile art. Currently, Mr. Kenichi Ohazama at Miwa weaving is the only successor of this special technique.
About 400 years ago, when Samurais were running Japan. There was a beautiful and intelligent courtesan in Kyoto called Yoshino-Tayu. This Yoshino Plaid is named after this Yoshino-Tayu because it was loved by her, or in another theory, her marriage partner was wearing it. Yoshino plaid was loved by cultural figures at that time. At KUON, Sashiko-ori is used to express this unique pattern. *Courteasan (Oiran) is a type of Yujo (prostitute), however, they are distinguished from ordinary Yujo in that they are first and foremost. A woman had to be educated in a rage of skills like sado (Japanese tea ceremony) and Ikebana (flower arranging). The courtesans’ prestige was based on their beauty, character and education etc. Tayu is the highest rank of courtesan.
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