Japan, 2018

International Shibori Symposium

I first became interested in shibori over twenty years ago. I don’t remember what teacher or which book piqued my interest, but I’ve been experimenting ever since. I’m a hobbyist, not a specialist. I have tons of information rolling around my brain, and I try every art form to which I’m introduced. I fall in love with everything I try. While it’s true that there are times when I think I’m just going to give it all up and spend my spare time reading, I have many bottles of dye in my basement storage cabinet, and know right where to find the instructions each time I decide dye is the solution to a fabric color problem.

When my friend, MaryLou, mentioned to me last year that she was planning to visit Japan in the summer of 2018 for the International Shibori Symposium, my interest was again piqued. I love to travel. Except for a trip to Singapore in 2001 and my planned travel to Singapore and Bali in May of 2018, I had not visited Asia. I could cross that off my list of must-see places while traveling with a friend rather than alone. (My partner since early 2010, known throughout my writings as “The Jazzman,” doesn’t like to fly. I’m pretty sure getting him on an airplane for twelve- or fifteen-hour flight is just not ever going to happen. I could be wrong, but …!)

This is the information about the trip I was considering:

The International Shibori Symposium
from June -July 2018;

Quoted from www.11iss.org: 11 ISS spans three regions of Japan connecting traditional Shibori and design centers in Nagoya, the contemporary art and fashion hub of Tokyo, and rural folk traditions in Yonezawa and Yamagata.
The Symposium explores their shared legacies of craft and local industry: Safflower, Indigo, and Shibori.

The Regions
Nagoya: Located along the old Tokaido Route, Nagoya is home to Arimatsu-Narumi, a neighbourhood with over 400 years of history practicing Shibori and indigo dyeing. Enjoy workshops and demonstrations on traditional techniques, visit modern boutiques reinventing shibori, and view exhibitions of rare textiles including millenia-old shibori fragments.

Tokyo: The modern capital of Japan, Tokyo´s dense cosmopolitan metropolis fosters technological innovation and hosts some of the country´s top fashion designers and contemporary museums. View a dynamic ISS International Contemporary Art of Shibori exhibition and connect with artists, designers, educators and scholars through pechakucha presentations.

Yonezawa & Yamagata: Situated in the northeastern Tohoku region famed for its natural beauty, Yonezawa and Yamagata boast fields of beni-bana safflower ready for a summer harvest. Explore enduring folk traditions including sashiko, boro, bast fiber and silk tsumugi weaving through workshops at family studios around the region.

Bearing in mind that I already had placed a large deposit on my May Bali Fiber Tour, and knowing that our travel pals, Mike & Marilyn, were interested in a tour of Ireland in June, I went ahead and booked the Shibori tour, which would begin four days after we returned from Ireland.

My friends all asked if I was crazy. And Marilyn, with whom I eat the most meals and who is most acutely aware of my migraine triggers and difficulty ordering in restaurants, asked, “How are you going to eat?”

Aw, what do they know? I was bound and determined to do this thing.

And now I’ve done it and lived to write the travelogue. So travel vicariously with me through my writings.

Thanks for your interest.



Yonezawa and Yamagata

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