Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Postcard from Japan: Part Two - Boro, Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Amuse Museum
I found the Amuse Museum.  Interesting name for a very unusual museum.  There are multiple floors with stairs.  I mentally fortify my left knee.  The entrance fee to the exhibits upstairs is 1080 yen (about $10).

The very first piece I see at the top of the stairs in the exhibit is a large 3-D flowered piece.  Lots of fun with its collage work and popping-out flowers.

Yuukitsumugi pieced scarf in warp and weft kasuri.
This 2nd floor room is filled with Japanese kimono fabric that has been upcycled into clothing.  Everything is lovely and charming in this bright room.  I'm fascinated by the darkish pieced scarf as it looks like Yuukitsumugi, a type of warp and weft kasuri in minute patterns.  When I was a student in 1971-72, I studied at that weaving factory for two weeks.

Bag made from an obi.
A satin striped bag immediately catches my attention because of the stripes.  The attendant explains that it's made from an obi (the wide thick belt that is worn with a kimono).

Silk ori-nui scarf.
A brown and white silk scarf in ori-nui reminds me of the beautiful stitched and dyed pieces done by Susan Moran of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The basket of fish is a surprise and a delight.

Next, is the special Boro exhibit.  These highly mended fabrics and clothing that were used by the very poor in Japan, possibly from the 19th and early 20th century.  These are from a special collection assembled by Chuzaburo Tanaka.

Donza or night blanket padded kimono.
Photographing was allowed and I think I took an image of almost everything in the exhibit so this will be a selected view of what was on display.

The garments were mostly huge kimono called "donza" or "donja" which was used as a night blanket to cover one or more people in the family.  The saying was, "Use a donza that can stand up when thrown."  The donza are at least 6' tall or more and at least 5'-6' wide and packed with all kinds of materials, including crumpled paper.

There were also mended tabi, the fabric sock/shoes with a division between the big toe and the other toes; shirts, work kimono that came to just the knee, and more.

I will add to this post with many pictures.  Stay tuned.

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