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Japan Textiles and Culture

“What did you see, what did you do?” Where to start…

Yuka's dress

Probably the best way of describing Japan is the feeling of culture shock when you arrive back in your own country! After about an hour the feeling subsides as you start to slot into the semi disorganisation, and the lack of many things here. Many more people are employed in Japan so service and assistance is deemed important. Unemployment is very low. As an example, here we prioritise machines and the productivity (less humans in work) that they provide regardless of its implications society wise, for example the Sydney Opal transport card.  In Japan you can still buy bus tickets on a bus with actual money, even in the large cities. So people can travel around quite easily. Even visitors!

Saori no mori 2016

Kenzo Jo working his magic on the loom

Saori no mori

Mesmerized by weaving

The first day of the Textile tour was a day workshop at Saori no Mori. We had a small crew from Australia and New Zealand and not all were weavers previously. What a great start to the many things we would see and people we would meet.  Kenzo Jo introduced the workshop by showing everyone how to wind a bobbin and get weaving in his energetic and creative, inventive style.  Each time I meet Kenzo the more I am moved to recognise his incredibly inventive and inspiring nature. He is always thinking of improvements and inventions which help make us more daring and inventive too. You can see he won’t really let you just sit there without prompting some challenge in what you are doing. Like taking the whole warp of the back beam while weaving and inserting an intermediary clipping rod to make the tension messed up uneven. It is all quite remarkable really.

the sumon slider

The somen slider

Lunch was deliciously challenging too. We had to catch the somen noodles going down a bamboo slider. A great meal for the hotter weather we were having. We are proposing to run the tour again in 2017 in mid November. If you would like to register your interest please contact me or the tour agent Intentionally Different.


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