We are now at the Ginza for several days as the tour winds down and I have access to internet here in my room. It will allow me to catch you up a bit.
This post focuses on the natural dye workshop and visit we had at the studio of Yamazaki Kazuki. His grandfather, Yamazaki Akira coined the word “kusakizome” in 1930 to discriminate synthetic dyeing from natural dyeing. Of course natural dyeing preceded synthetic dyes as all dyeing was “natural” in the past. As synthetic dyes came into use and dyers and industry turned to their use, traditional natural dyeing needed a term of it’s own. “Kusa” means grass- “kusaki” means vegetation, and “zome” (from the verb someru) means dyed. Kusakizome then means dyed by natural materials such as grass, roots,flowers, buds, leaves, bark and so forth. Upon doing a little googling on the elder Yamazaki, I found myself back at one of my favorite blogs with this. Fantastic! His father, Yamazaki Aoki became a very famous dyer as well winning many awards and accommodations for his work and expertise. Now it seems this knowledge continues in the hands of Yamazaki Kazuki who specializes in the application of natural local seasonal plant dyes with katazome. (Katazome is a stenciled rice paste resist technique that involves the cutting of very fine stencils, screening of rice paste resist through the stencil onto cloth and the dyeing of the cloth-often employing multiple stenciling and dyeing.)
So, a little timeline….
Yamazaki, Akira, b. 1892 (grandfather), d. 1972
Yamazaki, Aoki, b. 1923 (father), d. 2010
Yamazaki, Kazuki, b. 1957
So, for now, please enjoy the video. Later, I will post some photos from the dyeing we did there.