21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Japan’s textiles are among the most beautiful in the world. One such example is the kimono, which incorporates numerous types of patterns, materials and techniques to achieve its stunning finish. Another highly treasured Japanese textile is the woven Nishijin obi, a stylish and lavish kimono sash that is the most renowned product made through Nishijin-ori, Nishijin weaving, which was designated as a Traditional Craft in 1976.
Nishijin-ori can trace its origins back to 5th and 6th century Kyoto, a city with a rich textile-making tradition. The history behind the name “Nishijin-ori” is a fascinating story which describes how dispersed textile workers returned to the Kyoto area to resume textile production after the Onin War ended in 1477. The place chosen was Imagaya, Omiya, the location of the fort used by the Western forces, “Nishijin” in Japanese. Since the end of the 15th century, Nishijin-ori has been known as the weaving method used in Kyoto for creating designs and patterns using dyed threads, which are found in kimonos and other textiles.
The threads used to create Nishijin-ori kimonos and obis are thick and come in a plethora of rich colors, such as gold. And thanks to the high-quality of Nishijin-ori, these splendid textiles can last a lifetime. Nishijin-ori neck ties are also popular, and demonstrate the same remarkable quality and craftsmanship. Other Nishijin-ori products in demand from prominent high fashion designers around the world include key holders, wallets, bookmarkers and accessories.
By public transportation
From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Subway Line to Imadegawa Station. The Nishijin Textile Center is a 7-minute walk from the station. Alternatively, get the No.9 city bus from Kyoto Station and get off at Horikawa-Imadegawa Bus Stop.